A Marlow grammar school headteacher has slammed this year’s controversial A-Level grading system, saying their pupils’ grades this year are “way out of line” with their historic records.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, no final exams were sat and a new way to grade students was formulated – but not everyone is pleased.

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Teachers were told to submit the grades they thought each student would have received if they had sat the papers, alongside a rank order of students, after exams were cancelled amid the pandemic.

Exam boards moderated these grades to ensure this year’s results were not significantly higher than previously and the value of students’ grades were not undermined.

Sir William Borlase’s in West Street has spoken out against the system put in place by The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual), saying they will be “pursuing all avenues to challenge results” where they are “transparently anomalous”.

In a statement, headteacher Kay Mountfield said they are “bitterly disappointed that the system has let many of our students down”.

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She said: “Our students have faced the uncertainty of this process positively, trusting, as we have as a school, that the system developed by Ofqual would be true to its stated aim: it would ensure ‘that students would not be disadvantaged as a result of not having had the opportunity to sit the exams’.

“We were assured that the statistical model would take into account the school’s historical data and the prior attainment of the students.

“The statistical model has not worked in its application to our school with our overall grades being downgraded to significantly lower than any previous grades Borlase has achieved, despite our having a stronger cohort.

“As this anomaly is so transparent in the way the outcomes deviate from the expectations of Ofqual and the school, we hope this will be quickly addressed.

“We will challenge this decision to ensure students from our school and students from schools across the area and country receive the results they deserve.”

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A number of other Bucks schools have also refused to reveal a breakdown of the grades achieved by pupils this year, even when asked by this paper.

A statement from Beaconsfield High said they have decided not to publish results in the media as they usually would until the appeals and other processes are complete.

They said: “Our students have done so well, but their final results are not yet set in stone.”

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They added: “We are delighted that every student who had offers via Oxbridge has secured their place, that the vast majority have secured places at their first choice universities or had the option to upgrade to an even better course.

“It was wonderful to welcome some students to a socially distanced results morning but we missed the hugs and screams that usually come with such a successful day filled with hope and joy.”