England’s exams regulator has asked parents of students in their final years not to interfere with teachers’ grading of their students’ GCSE and A-levels. This is after exam regulators announced that for a second year running, students’ grades would be awarded by teachers.
Acting head of Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual), Simon Lebus, said they considered teachers’ judgment on students’ grades to be “pretty reliable” when deciding to eliminate sitting for exams this year.
Parents urged not to pressure teachers
Lebos continued by saying urging parents not to pressure teachers over grading to avoid making teachers uncomfortable. He also told members of parliament on the Commons Educaiton Committee that they had created a system that had good incentives that would allow teachers’ judgment to flourish, and as regulators, they would play their part in supporting teachers’ decisions on students’ grades.
Lebos added that it was important for parents to give teachers space to grade their students. He argued that parents get terribly involved in such processes and may result in teachers being uncomfortable when doing their job.
Nick Gibb, England’s School Minister, who also appeared on the committee, emphasized that there were no plans to permanently eliminate exams, indicating that this year’s cancellation of exams was due to the pandemic. He denied phasing out exams and indicated that he can confirm that students would continue taking exams in future years.
Gibb argued that exams were the surest way of determining the attainment and ability of students’ work, adding that they wanted to bring back exams as soon as possible.
Gibb also indicated that up until January 4th, they were preparing for exams. However, when the government implemented a lockdown, that meant schools needed to be closed. Gibb said it was only after lockdown that they considered eliminating this year’s exams.