Legal expert gives Gavin Williamson deadline to "sort out" A-level debacle

16 August 2020, 14:24 | Updated: 16 August 2020, 14:43

By Seán Hickey

The founder of a legal firm has warned the Education Secretary that if he doesn't fix the "profoundly unfair," A-level fiasco by Wednesday, he will issue High Court action.

Jo Maugham QC is founder of The Good Law Project and his firm are organising litigation against Gavin Williamson and Ofqual over the "profoundly unfair," A-level grading disaster.

"They've breached the law by not creating a system that allows individual students to appeal bad downgrades," the legal expert told Maajid Nawaz.

He summarised the action by telling Maajid that Ofqual and Gavin Williamson "have got until Wednesday to sort this out and, if you don't sort it out we'll issue High Court proceedings."

Mr Maugham claimed "the sensible thing for them to do is either follow the outcome they've adopted in Scotland...or at least ensure that no one is downgraded by more than one grade."

He told Maajid that under the Ofqual system "you can be an exceptional student that's performed amazingly well in a failing school and the system will do you down," and this is what The Good Law Project is fighting against.

Students have been calling for their A-level marks to be reviewed
Students have been calling for their A-level marks to be reviewed. Picture: PA

Maajid put forward his understanding of the system, and asked Mr Maugham if it was right to assume the system is "biased towards grading upwards schools that in their historic performance have had better averages and downwards for state schools."

The expert told him this is "absolutely what the algorithm is doing."

He went on to share that "this year therefore, everyone in Eton should get an A or A* grade," even if they had done no work this year.

Mr Maugham added that for people who are not happy with their results, "the appeals mechanism as it's presently drawn is not going to do anything to help those children," which his firm also plans to address.