Appeals for teacher assessed grades will be a cause for concern for teachers, students and schools this summer.
Already there are reports of parents contacting lawyers about how to appeal against their children’s grades. This might raise anxiety levels even higher among teaching staff after an already exhausting year!
Experts have warned that grade inflation is inevitable even with additional levels of scrutiny promised by the qualifications regulator Ofqual, and they say another year of inflated results will make it harder to return to exams pegged to pre-pandemic results next year.
Appeals for teacher assessed grades: what will be the risk to teachers?
Teachers could be facing real employment-related risks.
Some teachers will feel under pressure to inflate grades, with demands coming from parents and senior leadership teams. With teachers’ exam results linked to appraisal targets, performance-related pay and whole-school targets, gaming can and always has occurred within the system.
The JCQ have identified the “decision to not go ahead with exams in summer 2021 means that the causes and drivers for malpractice will be different to those in a normal examination series. However, malpractice can still occur through genuine error or intent, particularly around the determination of grades.”
Even though there has been a range of guidance published from the exam boards on quality assurance and moderation, human mistakes will always happen too.
Could we see an increase of school staff facing allegations of exam malpractice later this year?
Teachers and headteachers could be subject to disciplinary action and can be referred to the Teaching Regulation Agency in the most severe of circumstances.
Schools would have to investigate the individual circumstances and follow their own policies and procedures.
Teachers could also ring the alarm bell that exam malpractice has occurred within their schools. We’ve written more about the topic of exam malpractice here and how it can put teachers in a tricky position reporting on their superiors.
If you are an Edapt subscriber we can support you when facing allegations at your school.