Inconsistency in mocks will lead to "winners and losers" in A-level grading

12 August 2020, 17:56

By Seán Hickey

The inconsistency of how schools conduct mock exams means that some schools will perform better in A-levels than others.

Sir Jon Coles, Chief Executive of academy schools chain United Learning was speaking to Eddie Mair as the government's grading method for exams in England and Wales comes under scrutiny.

The Department of Education have opened the possibility for students to accept their mock exam grades as their final grade if they aren't happy with the generated grade. Eddie noted that there is often "inconsistency with mocks," and wondered how this can be the best solution.

Sir Jon told him that "schools use mocks in different ways," from some schools who mark exams harshly to give students "a kick up the backside," to other institutes which use them as a confidence boost.

"There is no consistency," he admitted.

"This means that this change will benefit some children in some schools but won't make any difference at all to other children in other schools."

Sir John suggested that inconsistent mocks may skew results
Sir John suggested that inconsistent mocks may skew results. Picture: PA

Eddie read out a text from a listener whose daughter may not get the grades she has worked for because her school doesn't traditionally perform well in the A-levels.

Eddie posed the listener's question, "why won't the government trust the teachers in these exceptional times," to Sir Jon.

The United Learning chief assured the listener to "wait until you see the grades before you say this has not worked for you."

"The problem is that some people will be winners and some people will be losers," he admitted.