Warnings for pushy parents over teacher grades

Warnings have been issued for pushy parents as the exams regulator published guidelines for schools on assessing grades this week, and told head teachers to keep records of parent pressure over exam grades. 

Ofqual, the exams regulator, in guidance on submitting grades published this week, said schools should be “careful” to avoid teachers being “put under pressure from students, parents or carers to submit grades that are higher than the evidence supports”. Heads should keep a record in such cases, Ofqual advised.

The official guidelines for schools draw a line under fears that the teacher assessed grades could be treated as a negotiation following comments earlier this month from Ofqual chief regulator Simon Lebus who said the process offered an “opportunity for a student to say if they think that the evidence that has been used does not accurately reflect the best of their ability”.

The guidance for schools also includes:

• Teachers have been told to take historic results of their schools into account when reaching grades. Data from 2017, 2018 or 2019 can provide a “useful guide” to the “expected profile” of results.

• Grades should not be affected by a student’s positive or negative behaviour, character or personality, appearance, performance of their siblings, parental opinions or the “knowledge of grades needed to meet a university offer”.

• The sources of evidence should "as far as possible" be consistent across a class or cohort of students, and schools should record the reasons for their selection.

Schools can begin to submit grades from May 26, up until a deadline of June 18, the guidance confirms.


Exam Board Guidance for GCSE and A levels 2021 

Exam Boards have also now published further guidance on how schools are expected to award grades, including final confirmation of key dates in the process. 

26 May to 18 June: Window for Teacher Assessed Grades submission opens 

18 June to 16 July: Exam boards conduct sample checks of evidence

10 August: A and AS Levels results day

12 August: GCSE results day 

10 August to 7 September: priority appeals window

10 August to end October: majority of non-priority appeals take place