Last year a Doncaster student missed an exam - his school believes that meant they had to have one 'unclassified' grade at A level this year

Doncaster headteachers have criticised the downgrading of hundreds of their students in today’s A level results.

Friday, 14th August 2020, 1:14 pm

Some of the schools which have traditionally produced some of the most successful sets of results in the exams for 18-year-olds were hit grades being lowered from their teachers' assessments.

At McAuley School in Cantley, 37 per cent of pupils were downgraded, while at Hall Cross the figure was around 30 per cent.

The head teachers at both schools were unhappy with the way it had been done, which left many pupils uncertain if they would get places at the universities they had hoped to attend.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Hall Cross School (Picture: Liz Robinson D2967LR)

McAuley headteacher, John Rooney, said: “The extra stress caused by having centre assessed grades being moderated based upon an algorithmic formula fails to take account of the individual students that we know so very well. Unfortunately the wait will go on as the appeals process begins.

“We would like to say thank you to all students and parents for their understanding and support in this rapidly changing situation.”

He said he felt the school had suffered because last year’s grades had been below the usual levels at the school.

Hall Cross Academy headteacher Simon Swain was also unhappy at the way the downgrading system appeared to have operated.

He said in one subject, the school had seen a pupil downgraded to ‘unclassified’ by the exam board, because a student at the school had received an unclassified grade last year.

He said: “The unclassified grade last year was because a student had not turned up for an exam. It seems as though a student this year has had to have an unclassified this year because of that.”

“We have 30 students who we will be working with to appeal decisions. We feel it is the result of exam boards not trusting the judgement of teachers."

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said the majority of young people would have received a calculated grade today that enabled them to progress to the destination they deserved, with the added safety net of being able to appeal on the basis of their mock results, as well as the chance of sitting autumn exams.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you

Nancy Fielder, editor