In response to the ongoing issues with A-Level and GCSE results, Giles Watling, MP for Clacton, has issued the following statement:

“Ofqual’s algorithm is clearly flawed and must not be used to calculate grades for GCSE students this Thursday.

“I have heard concerning reports of unjustified A-Level downgrades in our area, and it is not right or fair that local students, regardless of how exceptional they are, are considered unable to achieve the grades they deserve because of their school’s historic results or the local characteristics of our area. No doubt, that is something we have already seen with A-Level results, and I fear that this will happen again when GCSE results are released on Thursday.

“Yes, this is an exceptional and difficult time, and Ofqual had something of an impossible job, where no solution would please everyone. But this algorithm is seemingly the worst possible outcome, that baselessly damages the prospects of 700,000 hardworking students. That cannot be allowed to stand.

“This year’s A-Level and GCSE cohorts have been through more than most, in one of the most disrupted academic years on record, and marking them down without justification is not the way to effectively motivate them for their future and the challenges that come next.

“To my mind, teachers know their students best, as in most cases they have taught them for two years throughout their A-Level and GCSE studies. We should trust in their judgment and their predicted grades should be awarded to students this year. I have written to the Education Secretary to make that request.

“Certainly, we may see some generous results this year, but it will then be for the students themselves, at the next stage, to prove themselves worthy of this grade. I have no doubt that they will rise to that challenge.

“Ensuring these students get the grade they deserve is the biggest motivation we can give them as they move on to further studies, training, or enter the workplace. Maintaining the unjust downgrade has the opposite effect and will have a negative impact for a generation.”