Derby High School Celebrates A Level Success Amid Disappointment with Downgrades

Derby High School Celebrates A Level Success Amid Disappointment with Downgrades

13 August 2020

Derby High School has consistently been one of the top performing schools in terms of A Level results in Derbyshire, with this year 73% of A level grades at A*-B and 50% at A*-A grade.

Despite the school’s excellent results, today should have been a joyous moment at the end of two years’ hard work for each of Derby High’s students. Whilst the school has much to celebrate, with the vast majority of students gaining places on their first choice university course, there remains huge disappointment that the flawed system of awarding A level grades this year has left some students with disappointment and incredulity that the education system has let them down at a time of unprecedented stress and helplessness.

Amy Chapman, Headteacher, commented, “I am incredibly proud of our amazing Year 13 students, who have shown resilience and strength of character throughout these challenging times. I am confident they will be able to put this exams fiasco behind them and move on to glittering futures. They deserve the best!”

She added, “Today, on receiving this year’s grades, I am shocked at the blatant disregard for the professionalism of my staff in our carefully considered teacher assessments submitted to the Examination Boards in May, as requested. 44% of our exam entries have been downgraded, and in two totally inexplicable cases from a B grade assessment to an E grade. Some of the final grades in no way reflect the evidence our teachers have collected over the five terms of assessed work and mock examination results.”

Mrs Chapman has now written to local MP, Amanda Solloway, and to the Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, asking for an urgent review of the process in the light of the Scottish Government’s acceptance this week that their system is flawed (a system very similar to that in England). The A level students in this country have had an incredibly difficult year, uniquely affected by the Covid shutdown of schools, and do not deserve to have their chances of attending the university course of their choice blighted by a computer algorithm.

Mrs Chapman concludes by stating, “Today we still celebrate, we celebrate an amazing group of young people who have bright futures ahead of them. They are more than just a few letters on a piece of paper, their achievements reach far and wide, from Gold Duke of Edinburgh, instrumental music grades to grade 8 and beyond, performances in drama and music in front of large audiences, public speaking and great achievements across a fantastic array of sports. Our students can be proud of all they have achieved and today we celebrate their many successes during their education at Derby High.”

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