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Thanks to the huge pressure placed on Government, in no small part thanks to Good Law Project and our supporters, Gavin Williamson has announced that the Ofqual standardisation algorithm will be withdrawn and grades awarded by teachers will be used instead.
We are pleased that the Government has belatedly seen sense. Nevertheless, real damage has been done to the lives of tens of thousands of students from disadvantaged backgrounds, who have been denied the proper rewards of their hard work.
Places at Oxford and Cambridge will have been taken by students from top private schools who would not, but for this mess, have won them. Even those who will get places next year will have lost a year from their working lives. Students taking A-levels in 2021 will face hugely increased competition for a diminished number of places.
But when all is said and done what is hardest to understand is that Government had the advantage of seeing what happened in Scotland and refused to listen and learn from it.
We are carefully scrutinising the Government’s announcement, including its impact on BTEC students and others who have not been helped by the change in policy, and we will work with our lawyers to try to ensure that no young people are left behind in this process.
At the moment we do not anticipate having to issue proceedings in this legal case, which means that we will need to pay our own costs. Our legal team – four lawyers and a paralegal – engaged at considerably discounted rates have worked tirelessly since we launched our campaign and these costs will not be inconsiderable. We still anticipate there will be a surplus which we will put towards any additional litigation required in respect of exam results and to support our work to protect vulnerable groups.
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