A level results day is supposed to be a day for celebration and relief. When students finally discover the efforts for their labour across the last academic year. admittedly , with the way 2020 has gone, this results day was never going to be the same.
However, as the day progressed, it became clearer that the students opening envelopes were to be disappointed; and with good reason. The algorithm created to generate grades in place of exams which never took place saw some students drop down two boundaries in comparison to their predicted grades. This ill-planned system caused heartbreak, causing many students to miss out on university places.
Around 40% of the grades awarded on Thursday were lower than teachers predicted. With this algorithm, the government has ignored the advice and recommendations from the people who know the students best, and created a random set of impersonal predictions. Essentially, a computer has predicted the future and fortunes of thousands of students. Any personal touch from teachers towards their students has been completely removed by the government.
But it’s not all bad news. The number of A grades at private schools rose by almost 5%. This has led to criticism of the system, with accusations of the government ‘baking in’ inequality and hitting those in state schools the hardest. At the end of the day, why would Boris have sympathy with those in state schools? The children of Conservative Party donors don’t tend to attend these schools.
Head teachers and college leaders across the country have called on pupils to appeal the decision. Education leaders have urged the fees for lodging an appeal be scrapped, otherwise it will remain just another hurdle in the UK’s elitist education system.
The solution from those in government? Blame the teachers, it’s their fault for believing in their students too much and giving them ‘higher’ predicted grades. How dare state school students be predicted to be successful, right?
Effectively, A Level results day 2020 has made the gap between private and state schools even bigger. Parents with enough disposable income to send their children to private schools will have the edge on university places once more, and students in state schools have been faced with even more of an uphill challenge to reach their goal.
A generation of newly eligible voters have now had a real taste of how this government works. Many will feel that they have been betrayed by those who govern them, and with good reason. A level students had their last months of education and exams taken away from them and are being punished for something completely out of their hands.
They may not think it now, but the decision to decide A level results in this cruel way may backfire for the Conservatives when the class of 2020 head to the polls for the first time. Maybe then they will reflect on the absolute mess of results day, but probably not. In the eyes of this government, the government can do no wrong and it’s the teachers fault. To them, this always was the case and it always will be. Many things change, but this government’s attitude on this is not one of them.