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EHRC steps in as thousands denied rightful A-level grades

14 August 2020

Britain’s equality watchdog, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission has indicated it will intervene after the government’s handling of this year’s A-level results.

Young people have taken to social media en masse to share their downgraded results, along with their predicted results from mock exams.

Almost 40% of results have been downgraded by one or two letters. Many individuals have tweeted downgrades from A* grades to Bs and Cs.

DR UK’s CEO Kamran Mallick said: “The algorithm used appears to have taken into account average grades for whole schools. This method has an inherent injustice built into it which has seen private schools getting their grades boosted upwards, and state schools in which individuals may be excelling against the odds marked down by several grades.

“We know that statistically speaking, disabled young people have a bigger fight on their hands to get through school. To then have their hopes and futures robbed by a wrongheaded algorithm is unforgiveable.

“It is not too late for government to perform a U-turn in the best interests of students, and to do some rapid rethinking about next week’s GCSE results.

“The Prime Minister’s assertion that “the exam results that we’ve got today are robust, they’re good, they’re dependable for employers” is an absolute joke. The Education Secretary has recognised that an “exceptionally high-performing child in a low-performing school” will not be granted the grades they deserve.

“School exams are so often the key to adult life pathways for many disabled students. The government will soon be announcing its disability strategy. In its own words, ‘This will put fairness at the heart of government work, to level up opportunity so everyone can fully participate in the life of this country.’ In good conscience, can it do this if it has already closed the door on opportunities for life for the current generation of disabled students?

“Scotland has granted this year’s cohort its predicted grades. Britain needs to follow suit and be in alignment on this.”

The EHRC has told the exam regulator Ofqual that it must mitigate against the “potential negative affect” of disabled young people and those from BAME and economically deprived backgrounds.