ASCL comment on use of mock exam results in grading system

12/08/2020
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on reports that mock exam results will carry equal weight to calculated grades
 
Commenting on reports that mock exam results will carry equal weight to calculated grades, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

“The idea of introducing at the eleventh hour a system in which mock exam results trump calculated grades beggars belief. The government doesn’t appear to understand how mock exams work. They aren’t a set of exams which all conform to the same standards. The clue is in the name ‘mock’. And some students will not have taken them by the time that schools were closed in March. So, this immediately creates the potential for massive inconsistency.

“Schools and colleges have spent months diligently following detailed guidance to produce centre-assessed grades only to find they might as well not have bothered. There is certainly concern about the standardisation process applied by the exam boards, but there are also good reasons for having this system in place because it ensures that this year’s grades are roughly in line with those of previous years, and this is important in terms of fairness to students over time. If the government wanted to change the system it should have spent at least a few days discussing the options rather than rushing out a panicked and chaotic response.”