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Results Week LIVE! Final UAE GCSE, A Level and BTEC Results as They Happened. 11 – 20 August 2020.
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Results Week LIVE! Final UAE GCSE, A Level and BTEC Results as They Happened. 11 – 20 August 2020.

by Jon WestleySeptember 4, 2020

Day Five – GCSE Results. Results Week LIVE! Day 5

5:00pm.

And…. that’s a wrap from Exams Week LIVE! 2020 from SchoolsCompared. All that is left to say is a VERY big thank you to all the schools, families and students who have joined us for this extraordinary year, one in which we have been able to cover some of the momentous twists and turns in British education in its history live as they happened. Your stories have brought to life what really matters – the achievements of our young people and making sure that as many doors are opened to them as possible. The rest is simply noise.

The decision to U-turn on the way results were calculated this year has caused arguments. Some argue that grade inflation should have remained the priority. Others, like all of our team at SchoolsCompared.com, believed the exact opposite. We saw no justification for ruining the lives of students by imposing results that bore not a single shred of relevance to the individual students receiving them on the basis of examinations they were denied the chance to sit.

What our schools, families and students have had to suffer this year as a result of Covid 19 and the fiasco of government policy is impossible to quantify. But their outstanding success, so richly deserved, isn’t.

This year the right thing has been done in education – and the tireless resolve of all our schools in fighting for their students, and the downright fabulous achievements of every single student, should leave all of us feeling nothing less than proud.

Roll on 2021 and a better, less chaotic world….

GEMS_INARTICLE  

4:49pm – Final A’ Level Results 2020 including algorithm. These were eventually revised, following a worldwide outcry from schools, teachers, parents and students, to reflect the Teacher-recommended grades put forward by each school- these can be found following this table.

2020 Results No. of Students No. of exam entries % of exam entries graded A* % of exam entries graded A*-A % of exam entries graded A*-B % of exam entries graded A*-C % of exam entries graded A*-E
Al Yasmina School 85.6 99.3
Brighton College AA 18.2 42.4 74.2 97
Brighton College AD 61 45.4 70.7 89.3
BSAK 125 22 45 88
Cambridge International Dubai 14 33 98
Cambridge International AD 18 27 50
Cranleigh Abu Dhabi 26 23 49 73
Dubai College 126 414 24 60 95 100
Dubai British School 63 198 43 86 100
Dubai English Speaking College 228 743 18 40 66.9 88 99.6
GEMS Education Group 790 2200 37 62
GEMS Wellington Al Khail 19 49 76
GEMS FirstPoint The Villa 18 41
GEMS Founders Al Barsha 35 56
Horizon International 29 75 100
Jumeirah College 144 442 17.6 47.5 94.9 100
Kings Al Barsha 48 69 87
Kent College 26 83 99
Safa Communnity School 22 60 32 50 75
Sharjah English School
Sunmarke School 48 77 99
The English College 58 118 6 30 90 100

Revised results based on Teacher-recommended grades. 

The following are the final, official and accurate results achieved by students in 2020.

2020 Results No. of Students No. of exam entries % of exam entries graded A* % of exam entries graded A*-A % of exam entries graded A*-B % of exam entries graded A*-C % of exam entries graded A*-E
Al Yasmina School
Belvedere British School 12 44 93 100
Brighton College AA 24 66 24.2 54.5 95,5 100
Brighton College AD 61 22.4 57.1 96.1 100 100
BSAK 125
Cambridge International Dubai
Cambridge International AD
Cranleigh Abu Dhabi 26
Dubai College 126 414 28.5 69.8 94.4 99. 100
Dubai British School 63 198 60 85 98 100
Dubai English Speaking College 228 743 22 50.1 77.7 94.3 100
GEMS Education Group 790 2200
GEMS Wellington Al Khail
GEMS FirstPoint The Villa
GEMS Founders Al Barsha
Horizon International
Jumeirah College 144 442
Kings Al Barsha
Kent College 26
Safa Communnity School 22 60
Sharjah English School
Sunmarke School
The English College 58 118

Last year’s (2019) A’ Level results follow below.

2019 Results No. of Students No. of exam entries % of exam entries graded A* % of exam entries graded A*-A % of exam entries graded A*-B % of exam entries graded A*-C % of exam entries graded A*-E
Dubai College 131 480 26 62 95
Dubai British School 44 78
Dubai English Speaking College 178 561 17 41 70 91.1 99.6
GEMS Education group 600 1700 33
Jumeirah College 140 437 15.3 46.5 94.5 99.8
Kings Al Barsha  29
BSAK 97 316 18 46 67 89 100
Brighton College AD 51 11 40 68 86 100
Brighton College AA 24 74 7 27 82 99
Sharjah English 32 28 56 99
The English College 78 195 7 24 82 100
Cranleigh Abu Dhabi 15 37 29 63 82 100

4:58PM: 2020 GCSE and IGCSE Results in Full.

School No. of students Exam entries % A*/9-8 % A*-A/9-7 % A*-B /9-6 % A*-C/9-4 % students achieving 5 A*-C/9-4 inc Maths and English)
Aldar Academies 21 56 95
Al Ain Academy
Al Bateen Academy 20 57 93
Al Mamoura Academy 20 (9) 31 99
Al Yasmina Academy 21 (9) 55 97
Belvedere British School 28 219 28 37 53 82 64
Brighton College AA 38 324 42 61 76 98 98
Brighton College AD 78 740 52 77 93 100 100
British School Al Khubeirat 121 1118 48 69 94* (9-5)
Cranleigh Abu Dhabi 64 57 79 99
Deira International School 114 970 27 54 80 95 95
Dubai British School 69 668 41 62 83 100 100
Dubai British School Jumeirah Park 32 275 37 58 82 98 100
Dubai College 122 1108 82 94 98.5 100
Dubai English Speaking College 212 1957 27.8 49.2 72.5 98.2 100
GEMS Education 2,700 19,600 49 76
GEMS Cambridge International AD 46
GEMS Firstpoint 80 (9-5)
GEMS Founders Dubai 77 (9-5)
GEMS Metropole 34 53 88
Our Own English High School Al Ain 56
GEMS Wellington Academy Al Khail 13 (Grade 9) 48 70 97
GEMS Wellington Academy DSO 55 89 (9-5)
GEMS Wellington International School 1611 53 69 84 99 98
Wesgreen International School Sharjah 31 54 75 91 48
GEMS Winchester School Dubai np np np np np np np
Winchester School Jebel Ali 72 (9-5)
Horizon International School np np np np np np np
International School of Creative Science, Sharjah
Jumeirah College 158 1448 47.5 73.3 90.6 99.9 100
Jumeirah English Speaking School 117 1135 54 79 92 100 100
Kent College Dubai 47 98
Kings Al Barsha 43 67 80 97
Nord Anglia School Dubai
Repton Dubai 105 1005 39 58 89 97 97.1
Safa Community School 47 73 98 100 98
Sharjah English School
Star International School Al Twar 63 82 100
Sunmarke School 92 911 27 49 76 96 92
The English College 89 655 26 46 70 97 97

2019 Results

School No. of students Exam entries % A*/9-8 % A*-A/9-7 % A*-B /9-6 % A*-C/9-4 % students achieving 5 A*-C/9-4 inc Maths and English)
Al Ain Academy (I) np np np np np np 84%
Al Bateen Academy (I) np np np np np np 90%
Al Mamoura Academy (I) np np 33% 52% 75% 97% np
Al Yasmina Academy (I) np np 46% np np 88% 85%
Belvedere British School (I) np np 41% 52% 63% 76% 77%
Brighton College AA (S) 39 325 40% 60% 76% 94% 97%
Brighton College AD (S) 78 741 47% 72% 89% 99% 99%
British School Al Khubeirat (I) 116 1002 37% 56% 86% 95% 95%
Cranleigh (S) 75 341 55% 73% np 98% 97%
Deira International School 93 804 20% 45% 73% 89% 83%
Dubai British School (I) 73 710 29% 52% 85% 95% 88%
Dubai College (S) 247 1207 76.60% 89.80% 97.80% 100% 100%
Dubai English Speaking College (I) 235 2176 24% 43.30% 67.60% 95.50% 94.90%
GEMS Education 2800 17700 20% (9-8) np 67% np np
Horizon International School (I) np np 30% 45% np np 93%
International School of Creative Science, Sharjah (I) 108 np np np 78.08% np np
Jumeirah College (I) 153 1457 38% 64% 83% 99% 99%
Jumeirah English Speaking School (I) 118 1086 41% 71% 95% 99% 100%
Kings Al Barsha (I) np np np 60% np np np
Nord Anglia School Dubai (S) 92 857 41% 66% 85% 98% 98%
Repton Dubai (S) 105 1023 31% 51% 82% 92% 92%
Sharjah English School (I) 30 np 36% 56% 92% 98% np
Sunmarke School (I) 93 879 np 47% 80% 90% 86%
The English College (I) 95 844 28% 44% 78% 89% np

04:50pm. Last, but certainly not least, we close this year’s Results Week LIVE! news with typically outstanding results just in from Dubai College.

Michael Lambert, Headmaster, Dubai College has been an extraordinary advocate for natural justice this year, fighting publicly for the rights of his students, and students across the UAE, to receive the results that reflect their abilities rather than results imposed by a deeply impersonal and failed algorithm. On behalf of all of us at SchoolsCompared.com, our warmest congratulations to all at DC for their achievements this year.

70.28% of A’ Level students at Dubai College in 2020 secured A*A grades.

82% of GCSE students at Dubai College in 2020 achieved A*/9-8 grades.

Our independent review of Dubai College can be found here.

04:35pm:

This in from Matthew Farthing, Principal of Nord Anglia International School in Dubai on his students’ outstanding GCSE results:

“What an extraordinary year as the modes of assessment have shifted and the continuing improvement of academic results at NAS Dubai is witnessed again. 

This is a truly outstanding set of results that each and every student at NAS Dubai well deserves. Congratulations to all of our students and thank you to all of our teachers who bring such results home.”

Nord Anglia International School I/GCSE results

2020

No. of students in I/GCSE level cohort:

 89

% of cohort entered for I/GCSE exams

 100%

No. of exam entries

 786

% of exam entries graded A*/9-8

 46%

% of exam entries graded A*-A /9-7

71%

% of exam entries graded A*-B /9-6

 89%

% of exam entries graded A*-C /9-4

 100%

% of students achieving 5 A*-C/ 9-4 including English and Maths

 100%

Overall student pass rate A*-C

 100%

Number of students excluded from the statistics (teachers/resits/non-students etc.)

 0

Highest number of grades achieved by an individual student

 12*

 Our review of Nord Anglia International School can be found, here.

4:34pm: Final statement from Dubai English Speaking College:

“We are delighted for all students who have received their results at A level, BTEC and GCSE following the turmoil of the last week and the issues surrounding the grading of results for this year’s cohort of students.

Now that the students have their grades we are working closely with them to ensure they are able to be supported in their choices moving forward, whether that be on to university or on to sixth form.

We would like to acknowledge the hard work and effort by all students, particularly during the challenging last six months of their education and to thank all staff who have supported the students since the start of these courses.”

Chris Vizzard. Headteacher. Dubai English Speaking College.

Revised A level results based on a 228 cohort with 743 entries) follows:

22.2% A*

50.1% A*-A

77.7% A*-B

94.3% A*-C

and 100% Pass A*-E

In BTEC, all 61 students passed in the school’s sport, enterprise, travel and tourism, hospitality, IT and business courses with over 88% gaining Distinction or Distinction plus.

Revised GCSE results based on a 212 cohort with 1957 entries follows:

7-9: 49.2%

6+: 72.5%

5+: 90.1%

4-9: 98.2%

1-9: 100%

The final “Value-added” achievement of Dubai English Speaking College and its students follows. Value-added is the measure of how much children exceed the predicted flightpaths expected of them on joining the school) and is arguably a much more accurate measure of how well a school achieves for its children. Most schools strive to achieve +0 (ie making sure every child achieves its predicted flightpath. This itself is challenging. Schools that achieve more (a + figure) are exceptional and a plus score is indicative of an outstanding school.

Dubai English Speaking College significantly over-achieves against predicted flightpaths – a credit to the school and its students:

A level Value-add: +0.41

BTEC Value-add: +3.33

GCSE Value-add: + 1.28

At A level 59 DESC Students received 3 or more A*- A

At GCSE 7 DESC students received 8 or more grade 9

Our review of Dubai English Speaking College can be found, here.

04:35pm: Congratulations to Al Ain Academy Student Maya Nourse-Grewal for her outstanding IGCSE results today. Ms Nourse-Grewal achieved 8 Grade 9s and 1 Grade 7.

Ms Nourse-Grewal’s  teachers told us that they “were in no doubt of her abilities and were confident that she would do exceptionally well.”

During one the most unusual and difficult academic years ever recorded, Maya managed to keep on track of her studies and look for various opportunities by completing online MOOC courses from MIT, Duke University and Harvard University to ensure that she made the most of her time during the lockdown.

Maya has now been shortlisted for the prestigious John Locke Institute Essay Competition 2020. This year the John Locke Institute received almost 3,000 entries from 80 different countries. The competition is divided into various categories, Politics, Philosophy, Economics, History, Psychology and Theology. A panel of 35 examiners from the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, Harvard and Chicago read all of the submissions; Maya’s essay was selected from the Law category.

Ms Nourse-Grewal hopes to read Law in the UK and become an International Human Rights Barrister.

Ms Nourse-Grewal told us:

“I was so excited to submit an essay for this competition as I knew it was a great opportunity for my work to be read by leading academics in the field and demonstrate my genuine interest in Law. During distance learning, I was able to find new ways to challenge myself online, and I was encouraged by my teachers to push myself outside of the school curriculum to challenge myself. Being shortlisted has cemented my desire to study Law and motivated me to work hard to achieve my goals! ”

 

04:08pm: EXCLUSIVE. Just in from Sunmarke School Dubai full breakdown of GCSE results and updated A’ Level results 2020.

Congratulations to all Sunmarke School teachers, students and Fortes leadership from all at SchoolsCompared.com for this years outstanding results.

GCSE

Sunmarke School I/GCSE results

2020 

2019 

No. of students in I/GCSE level cohort:

 92

% of cohort entered for I/GCSE exams

 100

No. of exam entries

 911

% of exam entries graded A*/9-8

 27%

% of exam entries graded A*-A /9-7

 49%

% of exam entries graded A*-B /9-6

 76%

% of exam entries graded A*-C /9-4

 96%

% of students achieving 5 A*-C/ 9-4 including English and Maths

 92%

Overall student pass rate A*-C

 ?

Number of students excluded from the statistics (teachers/resits/non-students etc.)

 0

Highest number of grades achieved by an individual student

 Nine grade 9s and one A

Updated A Level Results – 
A*- A 49%

A*- B -84%

A*- C 98%

The Full Sunmarke School Dubai Press Information for this year’s GCSE results can be found, in full, below.

20th August 2020

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Sunmarke School has announced Outstanding GCSE examination results for the fourth year in a row.

Dr Neil Hopkin, Executive Principal, Sunmarke School Dubai, said:

“We are particularly delighted to see such outstanding results from Sunmarke students this year. Despite the difficulties of the exam period, our teachers’ judgements were entirely approved, showing that the route to the best education is founded on the strength and depth of a school’s teachers, a feature for which we are renowned.

49% of all GCSE grades were A*/A, and all core subjects achieved the ‘outstanding’ benchmark of 75% 6+. Business, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Psychology, Further Maths and Drama were the highest performing subjects with over 70% of students gaining a 7, 8 or 9. Of particular note were the business results as 77% gained A*/A, which accounted for three quarters of the cohort.

We are delighted to have given our students such a strong platform from which to take their next steps”.

Sunmarke’s Top Performing Students who gained straight 8/9 (A*) grades in all subjects include:

Pablo Membrillera De Simon – 9, Matteo Saffioti – 9, Guilherme Cansan – 9, Ksenija Trubovic –

9, Aaminah Ghymman – 9, Ayah Balfaghia – 8, Yihan Ying – 8, Salimatu Musa – 8, Annette Leny

– 8.

Our independent review of Sunmarke School Dubai can be found, here.

1:01pm: Results in from Ajman Academy:

An independent review of Ajman Academy by our sister suite WhichSchoolAdvisor.com can be found, here.

03:54pm: The National broadsheet focuses on Grade inflation in its centrepiece story for this years GCSE Results Day, but focuses attention on UK reporting rather than local.

Full story here.

03:45pm: Khaleej Times reporting of GCSE Results day 2020. The broadsheet carries the (potentially) interesting but unsupported and undeveloped claim that “top scorers” are unhappy at the use of “predicted grades” although it is not clear whether their ire is directed at the now rejected algorithm, or their teachers having the final say on the results that they (and other students?) have received.

Full story here.

03:41pm: Gulf News reporting of GCSE Results Day 2020:

Full story here.

3:33pm: The most complete analysis to date of the direct statistical impact of the move to teacher-recommended grades on this year’s GCSE and A’ Level results. What does this mean? For many it is evidence of just how well students in previous years would also have done if statistical reductions had not been imposed to limit student grades and success.

Full story here.

03:18pm: Just in from Repton School Dubai, full Press Release and examination breakdown for this year’s GCSE Results Day.

The parapets and drama of Repton School in Dubai match those of its UK counterparts with a UAE twist

“Repton School Dubai celebrates outstanding IGCSE results

Dubai, UAE: (20 August 2020): Repton School Dubai, part of Evolvence Knowledge Investments (EKI) and a partner school of the renowned Repton School in the United Kingdom, is celebrating some superb 2020 International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) results.

This year’s IGCSE results reflect another year of consistently outstanding performance by Repton School Dubai, surpassing last year’s performance.

Out of the total 105 students who took the examinations:

39% of exam entries were awarded the maximum A* (9-8), and;

58% of entries achieved A*-A/9-7 grades.

Overall, 89% of the examinations taken were graded B/5 or above, exceeding the KHDA‘s ‘outstanding’ rating, academic benchmark of 75% at B/5 and above.

David Cook, Headmaster at Repton School Dubai, said:

“I would like to thank our superb teaching staff for their dedication and expertise, and also thank our parents, for their support and encouragement.  We are truly proud of the exceptional IGCSE results that our Year 11 students have achieved and delighted that they can now reap the rewards of their conscientiousness and hard work.  Top universities around the world look to this qualification as an important benchmark of performance when considering applications and by securing these impressive grades, we are confident that our students will succeed in the next phase of their academic career.

The IGCSE examinations, accredited by London University or Cambridge University, are one of the most academically challenging courses on offer to 14 to 16 years old students worldwide.

The full two-year programme features a combination of coursework and exam work, with students generally taking 10 courses.  Upon passing, students are awarded qualifications in a full range of core subjects, including languages, sciences, humanities, social studies, arts and design and mathematics. This year, for the first time, many students will receive the new numerical 9-1 grades in addition to the more traditional A*-G grades.

Though no direct comparison has been shared, the level 7 is equal to an A and a level 4 is the equivalent of a grade C, the standard pass mark for this award.”

– ENDS -“

Our independent review of Repton School Dubai can be found, here.

03:15pm: For those parents emailing us to explain the new grades system more clearly, this diagram makes it (as) simple (.) (as it can be (!))

03:06pm: Latest – Star International School Dubai final GCSE results in:

“Well done to all our students and teachers on their tremendous efforts!

This year our students secured:

100% 9-4

93% 9-5

82% 9-6

63% 9-7”

Kyle Knott. Head of Secondary. Star International School Al Twar. 

Our independent review of Star International School Al Twar can be found, here.

03:00pm: Live. Exclusive videos from Safa Community School in Dubai celebrating GCSE  Results Day and the outstanding results of students:

Our independent review of Safa Community School can be found, here.

2:52pm: Updated complete IGCSE and GCSE results from Deira International School:

Our independent review of Deira International School can be found, here.

02:47pm: Full official GCSE final results table for The English College Dubai new in:

I/GCSE results 2020 2019
No. of students in I/GCSE level cohort:  89  95
% of cohort entered for I/GCSE exams  100%  100%
No. of exam entries  655  844
% of exam entries graded A*/9-8  26%  27%
% of exam entries graded A*-A /9-7  46%  44%
% of exam entries graded A*-B /9-6  70%  63%
% of exam entries graded A*-C /9-4  97%  90%
% of students achieving 5 A*-C/ 9-4 including English and Maths  97%  94%
Overall student pass rate A*-C  97%  89%
Number of students excluded from the statistics (teachers/resits/non-students etc.)  0  0
Highest number of grades achieved by an individual student 9 x 9’s 9 x 9’s

Our independent review of The English Collage Dubai can be found, here.

02:36pm: Exclusive: Full Jumeirah English Speaking School Arabian Ranches (JESS) results now in:

“JESS DUBAI CLASS OF 2020 COMBINE RESILIENCE WITH OUTSTANDING ACADEMIC RESULTS

Faced with circumstances unmatched for generations, JESS students showed great resilience in their approach to school and an impressive determination in their learning through Distance Learning and should be rightly proud of their accomplishments achieved today.

During the summer, despite doing everything they could towards their success, our students were faced with a level of uncertainty regarding their examination results. As a school community, today we are able to celebrate with our (I)GCSE students as they open the envelope and receive grades that recognize their ability.

100% of the 117 cohort were entered for their GCSE qualifications by JESS Dubai and today this group of students has attained incredible results, with 100% of grades across all subjects being 9-4 (A*-C equivalent).

Within these results, 54% of results are graded 9-8 (A*) and 79% are graded 9-7 (A*-A). These results, of course, indicate a great deal of individual success with 9 students achieving 9 grades of 9/8 (A*) and 17 students achieving 10 or more grades of 9/8 (A*).  Impressively three JESS students attained 11 grades of 9 the highest possible grade at GCSE.

Mr Mike Waller, Head of Secondary, JESS Dubai explained:

“As a school community, we are so proud of all that has been attained by these GCSE students. It is important to also recognize the commitment shown by our entire school staff throughout this period. Their hard work and dedication ensured that all students were given the opportunity to progress and excel in their learning under conditions we could never imagine. The willingness of our staff and students to go the extra mile under any circumstance is one factor that certainly makes the JESS a very special school. “

2020 GSCE HIGHLIGHTS – JESS Arabian Ranches

  • 100% student pass rate
  • 54% achieved A* grade (8/9) (NEW RECORD)
  • 79% achieved A*-A grade (7-9) (NEW RECORD)
  • 92% achieved A*-B grade (5-9)
  • 100% achieved A*-C grade (4-9) (NEW RECORD)
  • 100% of pupils achieved 5 passes (A*-C) including English and Mathematics (NEW RECORD)
I/GCSE results 2020
Name of School  Jumeirah English Speaking School (JESS)
No. of students in I/GCSE level cohort:  117
% of cohort entered for I/GCSE exams  100%
No. of exam entries  1135
% of exam entries graded A*/9-8  54%
% of exam entries graded A*-A /9-7  79%
% of exam entries graded A*-B /9-6  92%
% of exam entries graded A*-C /9-4  100%
% of students achieving 5 A*-C/ 9-4 including English and Maths  100%
Overall student pass rate A*-C  100%
Number of students excluded from the statistics (teachers/resits/non-students etc.)  None
Highest number of grades achieved by an individual student  11

Our independent review of Jumeirah English Speaking School (JESS Arabian Ranches) can be found, here.

2:31pm: Just in from Kevin Loft, Principal/CEO, GEMS Wellington Academy, Silicon Oasis

“We would like to congratulate all of our GCSE students and their families on their record-breaking achievements in the 2020 GCSE Examinations.  We expected the hard work and talent of this group of young people to be recognised by improved results on previous years, but they have achieved something truly phenomenal. We’re so proud of the results from this year’s Year 11 students.

They’ve worked incredibly hard under very difficult circumstances, and these results celebrate their dedication, talent and adaptability.  We know that this group of young people have a bright future ahead of them, and they have demonstrated that they have the skills and attitude to really excel in such a changeable world.

In addition to congratulating the students for their achievement we would like to thank the parents and families of our students for their support, and the teachers of Year 11 for their continued hard work in pushing the students to work hard and achieve under such unpredictable circumstances.”

Our independent review of GEMS Wellington Academy, Silicon Oasis can be found here.

02:24pm: Full results and Press information now in from Horizon International School in Dubai:

Impressive GCSE Results for Horizon International School’s 2020 Cohort

  • Targets were exceeded, and records set at the British curriculum school today 
  • Students performed exceptionally well across all GCSE subjects, with Horizon International School’s best results to date 
  • For the first time, all students achieved five A*-C/9-4 grades, with 40% of the cohort achieving at least five A*-C/7-9 grades

Dubai, UAE: (20 August 2020): Horizon International School, part of Al Najah Education, today celebrates its students’ successful 2020 GCSE results, announcing that 100% of students achieved at least five A*-C/9-4 grades with 100% of students attaining grade C/4 or above in English Language, English Literature and Science.

53% of students achieved at least five A*-B/9-6 grades and 40% of students achieved at least five A*-A/9-7 grades. This is significantly higher than the UK National Average  

Both progress and attainment are exceptional across all subjects, particularly in progress measures where 0.02% of students had MLG targets of grades 7-9, yet 40% of all grades were graded 7-9.

Darren Gale, Principal at Horizon International School, said:

“This has certainly been a year like no other. Following the furore around the current examination series, we first and foremost take a moment to acknowledge that this is the first time our 16-year olds have had their learning and outcomes judged so publically; it’s their first external milestone. We acknowledge how hard our students have applied themselves, together with the guidance and dedication of our staff.  Both as a cohort and as individuals, there is much to celebrate and this should give our students the motivation and confidence boost they need for the next stages in their learning journey.

Our students always make us proud and they will now access their first choice Post-16 courses. At Horizon International School we take a personalised approach to teaching, and will continue to do all we can to support them. We know them well; their strengths and their capabilities. Our students and their families have our full support as they begin the next phase in their educational journey.”

Core Subject Highlights: 

  • In English Language, 93% of students attained a grade 9-6. On average students achieved 1.5 grades higher than their CAT4 generated ‘Most Likely Grade’ (MLG)
  • In English Literature, 57% attained a grade 9-6 and 50% gaining 7-9grades. On average students achieved 2 grades higher than their MLG
  • In Mathematics, 80% of students attained a grade 9-6. 73% of students achieved a 9-7 grade. Nearly a third of all students achieved the top grade 9. On average students achieved 2 grades higher than their MLG
  • In Science, 100% of grades achieved were 4 or higher with 69%achieving grade 5 or higher with 54% achieving 6-9 grades.

Non- Core Subject Highlights: 

  • 100% 9-4 grades in History, Geography, Sociology, Business, PE, Spanish, Arabic and Statistics
  • 60% of our students who sat ICT, along with 50% of our PE students and 67% of our Geography students achieved 9-7 grades
  • 100% of our students who sat Statistics and Arabic achieved 7-9 grades
  • Students who took Business achieved on average 2.3 grades higher than their MLG with students achieving 2 grades higher than their MLG in PE and ICT.

02:16pm: New: Repton School Dubai GCSE results now in. Congratulations to students, leadership and teachers from all at SchoolsCompared.com:

Repton School Dubai Final GCSE Results 2020
I/GCSE results

2018

2019

2020

No. of students in I/GCSE level cohort:  94  105  108
% of cohort entered for I/GCSE exams  94  105  105
No. of exam entries  904  1036  1002
Total number of different subjects entered for  28  28  26
% of exam entries graded A*/9-8  29%  30%  39%
% of exam entries graded A*-A /9-7  51%  50%  58%
% of exam entries graded A*-B /9-6  76%  81%  89%
% of exam entries graded A*-C /9-4  91%  91%  97%
% of students achieving 5 A*-C/ 9-4 including English and Maths  94%  94.3%  98.1%
Overall student pass rate A*-C  94%  96.2%  100%
Highest number of grades achieved by an individual student(s)  11  10  11
Average Predicted Grade for 2020 Cohort n/a n/a  n/a
Actual average Achieved Grade for 2020 Cohort n/a n/a  n/a
Our independent review of Repton School Dubai can be found here.

02:10pm: Official English College Dubai video showcasing Results Day 2020:

02:01pm: Interesting data from the University of Buckingham showing the significant increase in top grades awarded at A’ Level. We xplored this earlier today in our posts on Grade Inflation.

“Until 1987, the proportion of top grades – an A back then – was capped at 10%. Since then, there has been a gradual increase in the proportion receiving an A or A* (which was introduced in 2010).” [BBC]

The red spike shows the impact of the way results have been awarded this year (2020)

1:50pm: UK baseline results now confirmed for GCSE:

  •  25.9%, were awarded grade 7 or higher – equivalent to an A or A* under the old system – up from 20.7% in 2019
  • Students achieving grade 4 or above rising by 13% to 76% year-on-year
  • Number of those achieving the highest mark (Grade 9) increased by 40%.
  • In every subject the numbers awarded a grade seven have increased.
  • The biggest increase in students achieving a Grade 7 or above are in engineering, economics and the Performing Arts.
  • The smallest increases in students achieving a Grade 7 or above are in science double award, mathematics and English.

01:38pm: Latest from Maryssa O’Connor, Principal and Chief Executive Officer, GEMS Wellington International School:

“In the most challenging of years, I am so proud of the WIS community; who have supported our students to achieve this outstanding set of results. Once again, we have outperformed previous year’s GCSE results, firmly placing GEMS Wellington International School as one of the top performing schools here in the UAE, and indeed, in comparison to British Curriculum schools globally for both progress and attainment, as 53 per cent of our results are at grade 8 or 9.

Our pledge is now to ensure that these wonderful students continue to IB success here at GEMS Wellington International School.”

Our independent review of GEMS Wellington International School can be found, here.

01:37pm: Thank you to Matthew Lecuyer, Principal and Chief Executive Officer at GEMS Winchester School, Dubai who joins the SchoolsCompared.com audience this afternoon to celebrate the outstanding success of all his children this year:

“What an amazing day for all of our GCSE students.

Our Winchester family is immensely proud of the achievements gained from our Year 11 students. The results speak for themselves.

They have given so much effort to their studies; set challenging targets and engaged with their learning that culminated in this celebration of results. Through the entire journey, they have shown true rigour in character, with kindness and humility always present.

My team and I are beyond proud of what they and the school have achieved. Well done to the students, but also thank you to the parents and teachers for guiding them on their way to success.”

Our independent review of GEMS Winchester School in Dubai can be found, here.

01:33pm: GCSE Results in from the British School Al Khubairat:

“Congratulations Year 11 for your fabulous results, a true reflection of your hard work and commitment over the last 2 years.”

Our independent review of the British School Al Khubairat can be found, here. 

01:29pm: GCSE Results Day at Dubai British School, Jumeirah Park:

Our independent review of Dubai British School, Jumeirah Park can be found here.

01:19pm: Thank you and congratulations to leadership, teachers and students at Deira International School in Dubai for amazing results this year. Complete final examination results in 2020 below for the IB Diploma, CrP and BTEC:

 IB Diploma Trend 2018 2019 2020
Number of DP  Candidates 51 65 34
% Awarded Diploma 92 93 100
Highest Diploma Points 42 44 43
Lowest Diploma Points 21 26 28
Average Points per Candidate 31.6 34 36.9
Core Points 1.54 1.46 1.79
Average grade of all candidates 5.1 5.17 5.85
No of Candidates 40+ Points 3 10 8
%  of Candidates 40+ 5 15 24
%  of Candidates 35+ 32 43 79.4
%  of Candidates 30+ 77 80 97

No. of students: 34 IBDP and 5 IBCrP

No. of exam entries: 204

Total number of different subjects entered for: 24

% of exam entries graded 7: 23%

% of exam entries graded 7-6: 71%

% of exam entries graded 7-5: 91%

% of exam entries graded 7-4: 100%

Overall pass rate: 100% IBDP and 100% IBCP

Highest number of grades by individual student(s): Highest 43points

Predicted Average Overall Grade for 2020 Cohort =   34

Actual Achieved Overall Grade for 2020 Cohort = 36.9

 Points Number %
40+ 8 23.5294118
35+ 27 79.4117647
30+ 33 97.0588235

Deira International School offers BTEC at post 16 as part of the IB Career-related Programme.

Students study a Level 3 National Diploma in either business or travel and tourism. IBCrP students study three IB subjects at higher or standard level. They also complete the IBCP core elements of service learning, reflective project, language development and personal professional skills.

IB Career Related Programme
2018 2019 2020
Number of CP candidates: 5 5 5
Average grade obtained by candidates who achieved the CP: 4.11 3.53 5.7
Pass Rate 80% 100% 100%
BTEC Level 3 Diploma D*D* NA NA 5
BTEC Level 3 Diploma D*D NA NA 0
BTEC Level 3 Diploma DD NA NA 0
BTEC Level 3 Diploma DM NA NA 0
BTEC Level 3 Diploma MM NA NA 0

Our independent review of Deira International School can be found, here.

01:09pm: New in from Michael Bloy, Head of Secondary, Kings’ School Al Barsha. Congratulations from all at SchoolsCompared.com:

“Fresh of the back of their children’s A-level successes last week, Kings’ Al School Al Barsha continued its impressive upwards trend at GCSE with another year of improved results. 

Our non-selective school announced headline figures for GCSE of 43% 9-8, 67% 9-7, 80% 9-6 and 97% 9-4, which will ensure that all our students are able to access their next stages of learning at the Al Barsha Sixth Form. 

While social distancing has meant this year’s results day has been a much more subdued affair for the whole community, I am so proud of our students today.

So many of them have achieved great things and have received the grades they deserve for their hard work and dedication over the past two years.

As a non-selective school, I am so thrilled all of our students received the grades they required for their next steps.

We are all looking forward to welcoming our children back into the Sixth Form in just over a week’s time.

All of their teachers cannot wait to see them and congratulate them in person.

Our independent review of Kings’ School Al Barsha can be found, here.

01:04pm: Thank you to Matthew Burfield, Vice President, Education & Principal and Chief Executive Officer, GEMS Founders School, Dubai who joins us this afternoon:

“GEMS Founders School, Dubai, celebrated its first full set of IGCSE/GCSE results this year and we are so pleased to announce an outstanding set of results.

We achieved 44% A* – A (7-9) grades and 77% A* – B (5 – 9) grades which are well above national and international standards.

We are so proud of our students and even more so because our top 10 achievers all were founding students when we opened in 2016.

These children took a risk to come to GFS in 2016 with no prior results and have proven that it was indeed the right choice, for us and them.

Well done to all of our students, their teachers and their families.

Our inependent review of GEMS Founders School can be found, here. 

1:00pm: Results now flooding in. Full results and Press Information from Kent College in Dubai below. Wow! Congratulations from all SchoolsCompared.com for stellar GCSE results this year:

Kent College Dubai GCSE Pupils Celebrate Outstanding Results

Top results increase as Year 11 pupils demonstrate great learning amidst challenging times

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (August 20, 2020): Kent College Dubai is celebrating exceptional GCSE examination results.  98 per cent of all GCSE examinations sat by Year 11 pupils resulted in grades 9-4, the equivalent of old GCSE grades A-C. Additionally 47% of all examinations were graded 9-7 (A-A), an increase of 7% over the past 12 months.

Timothy Hollis, Head of Senior School, Kent College Dubai comments:

“These results demonstrate the efforts and commitment of our pupils and teachers. Pupils in this year group have endured an anxious time but, as KCD pupils they have always been encouraged to step outside their comfort zone and meet any challenges head on, they have thrived and performed at their very best. Our outstanding teachers have once again superbly supported our pupils enabling them to achieve top results. The calibre of our students is amazing.

Miss Rebecca Fayad, who achieved 9 x Grade 9 results and 1 Grade 8 (in Further Mathematics) is looking forward to continued studies at KCD, selecting A-levels in Chemistry, Economics, Mathematics and Physics. Whilst she has set the bar in terms of results, her effort, commitment and ambition is mirrored by all of our pupils.

Our teachers often state how much of a pleasure it is to teach our students, and I am delighted that their achievements reflect the consistent contributions and enjoyment that they have for learning.”

Mr Anthony Cashin, Principal, Kent College Dubai, echoed his congratulations to the pupils and teachers:

“Our pupils’ GCSE results this year are truly very special given the current circumstances. I have to acknowledge our keen and dedicated teachers for their hard work in supporting our pupils, and our pupils themselves who have shown real grit and determination throughout the year.

Congratulations to you all on your achievements.

The positive trend in our A level results and now our GCSE results are a true indication of the quality of teaching and learning here at Kent College. We look forward to the College’s future successes.”

Full results: Kent College Dubai GCSE 2020

Results 2020 2019
No. of students in I/GCSE level cohort: 25 23
% of cohort entered for I/GCSE exams 100% 100%
No. of exam entries 238 213
% of exam entries graded A*/9-8 24% 19%
% of exam entries graded A*-A /9-7 47% 40%
% of exam entries graded A*-B /9-6 70% 67%
% of exam entries graded A*-C /9-4 98% 97%
% of students achieving 5 A*-C/ 9-4 including English and Maths 100% 100%
Overall student pass rate A*-C 98% 97%
Number of students excluded from the statistics (teachers/resits/non-students etc.) 0 0
Highest number of grades achieved by an individual student 9 x Grade 9

1 x Grade 8

3 x Grade 9

7 x Grade 8

 

12:52pm: Congratulations to all teachers and students at STAR International School Al Twar whose students are celebrating their success this afternoon. Pictured is Ali Mohamed picking up his results this afternoon.

Our independent review of STAR International School Al Twar can be found here.

12:48pm: Full Press Information from Cranleigh Abu Dhabi released. Read it in full below:

Cranleigh Abu Dhabi Celebrates Record GCSE Success

DATE: 20 August 2020. Cranleigh Abu Dhabi are celebrating exceptional GCSE success with 34% of pupils obtaining a grade 9, 78% receiving a grade 7 or above and 99% of students achieving a grade 4 or above in a cohort of 64.

Michael Wilson, Principal of Cranleigh Abu Dhabi, is delighted. He commented:

“This is an excellent outcome for this year group, we are very proud. When we sat down after the mock exams prior to the Covid 19 lockdown we predicted grades for this cohort that are similar to what they have achieved. After so much uncertainty, this is very reassuring for a group of students who have grown enormously from their experiences. We are excited that many of them will continue their journey at Cranleigh. They have built quite considerably on the results of the 2019 cohort.”

Although the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted study and exams, the School has seen exceptional results in both GCSE and A Level results. This is in line with teacher predictions and mock exam performance.  Last week, Cranleigh Abu Dhabi Sixth Formers celebrated a second year of outstanding A Level results with a record-breaking 23% achieving the top A* grade, 49% receiving an A or above and 73% a B grade or above.

Cranleigh Abu Dhabi

GCSE results

2019 2020
No. of students in GCSE  cohort: 35 64
% of exam entries graded 9 29 34
% of exam entries graded 8 – 9 50 57
% of exam entries graded 7 – 9 73 79
Overall pass rate 99 99

The success reflects Cranleigh Abu Dhabi’s commitment to academic excellence and consolidates its reputation for outstanding educational outcomes.

Damien Ward, Vice Principal (Academic), Cranleigh Abu Dhabi, said:

“Raising attainment does not come without a huge amount of work from both students and teachers. Cranleigh is committed to a holistic approach to education that values and nurtures confidence, creativity and collaboration equally with exam success. This year group embodied these values, which was most evident during remote learning where they engaged wholeheartedly with the variety of opportunities available.” 

The students who received their results today are already focusing on their futures and the vast majority are continuing to do A Levels.

Annabelle Hewartson, an elated student at Cranleigh Abu Dhabi , said:

“At first, I was really nervous that my hard work would not be reflected in my results because my exams were cancelled. But I am grateful that my teachers were so supportive and appreciate all the work that I have put in. I couldn’t be more happy with my results.”

12:43pm: Cranleigh Abu Dhabi results are in:

“Congratulations to our amazing GCSE students on very impressive results. You have all demonstrated true determination, resilience and independence. We look forward to welcoming you back to Cranleigh for the next chapter in your journey. Well done everyone!”

Our independent review of Cranleigh Abu Dhabi can be found, here.

12:35pm: Thank you to Simon Jodrell, Principal, Dubai British School Emirates Hills for updating us on the final GCSE results from his school. Congratulations to all Dubai British School Emirates Hills Teachers and Students for their achievements.

12:31pm: Congratulations from SchoolsCompared.com to all Brighton College Abu Dhabi for another fantastic year of outstanding achievement at GCSE. 2020 GCSE results are the best in the school’s history. Wow!

Press information, in full, follows:

“Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 20th August 2020: Brighton College Abu Dhabi  is celebrating its best ever GCSE results, despite the unprecedented circumstances and the challenges of remote learning.  This year’s group has shown immense resilience over the last few months and laid some very strong foundations for the future.

The remarkable results achieved do great credit to the pupils, to their hard work, and to the support offered to them by our talented and committed teaching staff:

30% Grade 9, 52% Grade 9 – 8 (A), 77% Grade 9 – 7 (A-A), 93% Grade 9-6 (A* – B), 100% Grade 9 – 4 (A*-C).

Brighton College Abu Dhabi has enjoyed huge success across the full, and varied range of subjects taken at GCSE. Of particular note are the results in the Mathematics Department: 40% achieved grade 9 and in Further Pure Mathematics where all pupils achieved Grade 9. In the Sciences and Mathematics departments, more than 50% attained a grade 9 or 8.  In addition, this year 80% of pupils studying Mandarin achieved Grade 9 and 100% achieved Grade 9 – 8. This year’s results further build on the immense successes of previous years ranking us as a top performing school in the UAE. We continue to work together with all the Brighton Colleges, including the top-performing UK school, drawing on a long and successful history of academic distinction.

High achieving pupils celebrating top level grades this year include:

Gyubo Kong (Korean)                                     11 Grade 9s

Harriet McCreanor (Australian)                       10 Grade 9s

Ella Menane (British)                                      10 Grade 9s

Gyeongeun Noh (Korean)                               10 Grade 9s, 1 Grade 6

Ashna Chaturvedi (Indian)                               9 Grade 9s, 1 Grade 8

Gustavs Cerps (Swedish)                                 9 Grade 9s, 1 Grade 8

Amala Ayyar (Australian)                                 9 Grade 9s, 1 Grade 8

Simon Corns, Head Master of Brighton College Abu Dhabi commented, “I am delighted to announce another outstanding year of GCSE results, which accurately reflect the abilities of this able and hard-working group. The results tell us so much more about these young people this year than their academic achievement: they have shown exemplary character in adversity and have proved their resilience at every point over the last few gruelling months. It is a mark of the Brighton education that the emphasis on curiosity, confidence and kindness and the extensive opportunities we offer beyond the classroom prepare young people so well for whatever life might throw at them. As always, they have risen to the challenge and their thoroughly deserved success is a source of great pride for all of us. I offer them, their parents and my extremely talented and hard-working colleagues my warmest congratulations and thanks.”

Emma Parsons, Head of Senior School said, It is an absolute pleasure to announce our best GCSE results achieved to date at Brighton College Abu Dhabi. We are incredibly proud of the achievements and successes of all of our pupils over the past two years and, in particular, over the past few months as they have had to deal with the emotional challenge of not sitting the examinations. Our pupils should feel exceptionally proud of their grades today and we extend our thanks to their families too for their constant support and encouragement. The staff, who know the pupils really well, were able to determine their grades effectively, taking into account all of the work produced over the GCSE courses. I would like to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate them for their integrity, diligence and attention to detail throughout this process. Well done everyone!””

12:30am: Brighton College Al Ain Press Information now released in full (below) and reporting Emirati students have excelled with their best ever GCSE grades:

“Brighton College Al Ain Pupils Celebrate Leading GCSE Results

Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, 20th August 2020: Brighton College Al Ain pupils continue to perform at a very high level and are celebrating another year of excellent GCSE results, with the school’s Emirati pupils excelling with their best ever GCSE grades.

Following the school’s outstanding A Level results which were announced last week, the overall pass rate for GCSE exams this year for grades 9-4 was an impressive 98%.

Consistently included in the UAE’s best performing schools, 42% of exams taken this year by Brighton College Al Ain students resulted in top grades 9-8, and 61% of exams taken resulted in grades 9-7.

Brighton College Al Ain pupils who achieved outstanding GCSE grades this year include the following:

Sara Kidher (British)                                   8 Grade 9’s, 1 Grade 7

Isaac White (Australian)                            7 Grade 9’s, 1 Grade 8

Laila Dawalbeit (British)                            7 Grade 9’s, 2 Grade 8’s

Jana Abdel Aty (British)                             6 Grade 9’s, 1 Grade 8,  2 Grade 7’s

Shaikha Aisha AlDhaheri (Emirati)            2 Grade 9’s, 4 Grade 8’s, 1 Grade 7,  1 Grade 5

Fadel Alshamsi (Emirati)                            3 Grade 9’s, 2 Grade 8’s , 1 Grade 7, 3 Grade 6’

 

Headmaster of Brighton College Al Ain, Dr Ken Greig said:

“This has been an extremely difficult year for our exam groups, but I’m pleased that the awarding bodies have finally placed their trust in Centre Assessed Grades. The hard work done by pupils and their teachers has resulted in yet another superb set of results which give our pupils an excellent basis for success at A Level, and beyond at University.’

‘I am particularly pleased for our Emirati pupils, who overall achieved 96% at grades 9-4 and 64% 9-7 which is a record for us. We are proud to have some of the highest achieving Emirati pupils in the country at the College and I look forward to watching their continued progress. It’s an exciting time for young Emiratis, who are growing up in one of the most dynamic and innovative countries in the world. With a Brighton education they have the best possible start.’

12:26pm: Congratulation to Maryam (Head girl) and Saif (Head boy) from GEMS Winchester School, Dubai who are celebrating their GCSE results with the SchoolsCompared audience this afternoon.

 

Our independent review of GEMS Winchester school, here, and details of its move, here.

12:20pm: Vital new development as OFQAL confirms that students and families cannot appeal teacher-recommended grades (Known technically as Centre Assessed Grades). One of the few examples of potentially hugely damaging fallout from the British government’s U Turn to now base student results this year on teacher recommended grades is the worry that it would damage relationships between schools, students and their families – and mire schools in red tape at a time they need to be focused on getting students safely back to school or set p for Distance Learning. OFQAL’s decision will be a major relief to teachers and schools across the UAE.

Full story, here.

12:14pm: Excited families queuing this morning to receive their children’s GCSE results at The English College Dubai…

Our independent review of The English College Dubai can be found, here.

12:05pm: More detail on the outstanding results achieved by students at Safa Community School in Dubai:

“Safa Community School has outperformed all expectations with our second ever GCSE cohort, which has recorded exceptional results with their fully inclusive intake.  Remarkably for such a group nearly half (47%) of all the grades achieved in all subjects were graded at level 7-9 (A*/A) whilst nearly a third of all grades were a staggering 8/9.  Not only is SCS totally inclusive, but the school also offers an extremely wide range of subjects.  Impressively, of the 29 GCSE examination courses taken, 27 of these achieved a 100% 9-4 pass rate (UK equivalent pass rate).

To demonstrate further the school’s ability to ensure that they get the very best results for all students, the results of the top set students were equally exceptional as they achieved the following  grades in their core subjects:

100% grades 9-7 (A*/A) in Mathematics

100% grades 9-7 (A*/A) in Physics

100% grades 9-7 (A*/A) Chemistry

100% grades 9-7 (A*/A) in Biology

97% grades 9-7 (A*/A) in English

Further Headlines for the entire SCS 2020 cohort.

  1. 100% 9-7(A*/A) in Drama

  2. 100%  9 -7 (A*/A) in Music

  3. 100% Merit in BTEC Sport

  4. 100% 9-6 (A*- B) in  English Literature

  5. 100% 9-6 (A*- B) in Art and Design

  6. 100% 9-6 (A*- B) in Geography

  7. 100% 9- 6 (A*- B) in Spanish, French, German and in Mandarin

  8. 84%  9-6 (A*- B) inEnglish Language

  9. 77% 9-6 (A*- B) in Mathematics

To further emphasise that SCS is now a major force to be reckoned with in achieving the very best results for all students in Dubai, the schools continued expansion of subjects at GCSE and at A-Level has been supported by an equally impressive jump in outcomes in their second-ever set of GCSE results. The future looks incredibly bright for students who are at SCS – the statistics indicate that they will clearly outperform given the opportunities that the school is so obviously providing for all of them.

Safa Community School Raises the Bar Even Higher in 2020

2019

2020

Difference

% of exam entries graded A*/9-8

19%

29%

+10%

% of exam entries graded A*-A /9-7

36%

47%

+11%

% of exam entries graded A*-B /9-6

58%

73%

+15%

% of exam entries graded A*-C /9-4

84%

98%

+14%

% of students achieving 5 A*-C/ 9-4 including English and Maths

100%

100%

Overall student pass rate A*-C

84%

98%

+14%

Stephen Duckitt, Principal, showed his delight as he commented:

‘’I am thrilled that the hard work and dedication of all our students and staff, and the support that they received during these difficult times from their parents and carers, has ensured that our fully inclusive cohort has achieved such exceptionally impressive results. I am also delighted that Safa Community Schools second-ever GCSE results reflect how we raise the bar each year, and the statistics shout out that we will enable all of our students to outperform.  At Safa no student is less important than the other; we are truly a school for everyone.  These results epitomise that so clearly.’’

Michael Davies, Head of Secondary, commented:

“We are once again overwhelmed and delighted with these incredible results. We have surpassed last year’s world-class grades. As a truly ambitious school, we set a very ambitious target to increase the percentage of top grades this year by around 8%. The percentage of students achieving grade 9s rose by +10% to 29% and those achieving grades 9-7 rose by +11% to 47%.

Most notably, our Science trilogy students surpassed all expectations with a colossal pass rate of 100% 9-7. 57% of all grades achieved in Biology were straight 9s, with Physics achieving 43% of 9s. This is an incredible feat.

Our staff and students are truly ambitious as we begin to transition them for entry into A-levels,  Russell Group and Ivy League Universities across the globe. I would  like to thank all involved publicly.”

Ms Jenni O’Donnell, Head of the Sixth Form and Teacher of GCSE and A- level Mathematics commented:

“I look forward to welcoming in our new Year 12 cohort on the back of these outstanding results and know that they will complement the current Year 13’s who are celebrating exceptional results in their AS Levels. Year 12 will be inspired by and benefit from the experience and words of wisdom imparted by Year 13 as they put the finishing touches to their applications to top global universities.”

Ms Adrianne Deacon, Head of Key Stage 4 and Teacher of GCSE and A-level Biology, commented:

“This year’s GCSE results are astounding. I am beyond proud of all of our current Year 11 students. These tenacious Year 11 students have persevered, overcome adversity, demonstrated resilience and achieved GCSE results beyond our expectations. The mock results collected this year were admirable; however, this was not enough for them. The Year 11 students were highly reflective in their practise and continued to strive for excellence in a time where they needed to be independent more than ever, and they succeeded. This year has seen exceptional results in additional GCSE subjects taken at SCS such as English literature, Triple Biology, Triple Chemistry, Triple Physics and BTEC Sport, International level 2 where 100% of SCS students obtained a merit in this vocational course. I am honoured to have overseen the Year 11’s GCSE journey as Head of Key Stage 4, and I wish them every success for their A-Level and BTEC choices at Key Stage 5”.

Mr Mathew Ashton, Head of Pastoral and Teacher of GCSE, A-Level Geography commented:

Our dedicated teachers, external provisions and digital platforms within our distance learning programme to support all students, particularly our GCSE students have been amazing, and I cannot wait to congratulate every one of them.

Mr David Forsythe,  GCSE Pastoral Leader and PE Teacher commented

I am proud to say that over the course of the last two years this group of young adults have developed both personally and academically to this point in time where they have achieved beyond expectations. The manner in which they approached their studies from March onwards has shown intelligence and determination, and they can now go on to enjoy the demands and challenges of their A-Level choices with confidence and conviction.

12:01pm: Exclusive! Final results just in from GEMS Wellington Academy Dubai Silicon Oasis. Congratulations from all at SchoolsCompared.com.

GEMS Wellington Academy Silicon Oasis Final GCSE Results 2020

I/GCSE results

2018

2019

2020

No. of students in I/GCSE level cohort:

 203

 183

 205

% of cohort entered for I/GCSE exams

 100%

100%

 100%

No. of exam entries

 1724

 1469

 1616

Total number of different subjects entered for

 28

 32

 29

% of exam entries graded A*/9-8

 19%

          31%

 34%

% of exam entries graded A*-A /9-7

 43%

 50%

 55%

% of exam entries graded A*-B /9-6

 70%

 72%

 75%

% of exam entries graded A*-C /9-4

 94%

 93%

 98%

% of students achieving 5 A*-C/ 9-4 including English and Maths

 89%

 90%

 93%

Overall student pass rate A*-C

 95%

 92%

 97%

Highest number of grades achieved by an individual student(s)

            10

 11

 10

Average Predicted Grade for 2020 Cohort

 

Actual average Achieved Grade for 2020 Cohort

 

Or independent review of GEMS Wellington Academy Dubai Silicon Oasis can be found, here.

11:57am: Official quote from GEMS education to all families and students who have any worries about their GCSE results. We know that GEMS is committed to helping all its students, regardless of their results this year, with accessing Sixth Form courses, recognising the challenges that they have faced in a year in which the Covid 19 pandemic has meant no child has been able to sit GCSE examinations.

“We are very proud of the achievements of all our GCSE and IGCSE students. 

They have worked incredibly hard under exceptional circumstances and we feel this has been correctly recognised in the results achieved today. 

However, should a student or their family be disappointed with any of their awarded grades and wish to discuss this with the school, then please make contact with us by contacting the relevant school leader as shared with you in parental communications recently.”

 

11:40am: Latest! GEMS FirstPoint School in Dubai:

‘World class!’

These are the only words we can use to describe the incredible results achieved by the students of GEMS FirstPoint School today.

Our GCSE results set new records for the school and further enhance its reputation for high-quality provision and academic excellence.

More than a third of all grades were the equivalent of an A grade or A*.

Two thirds of students achieved the equivalent of grade B and above across all subjects.

We are incredibly proud of all of our students and we are looking forward to continuing to work with them in our Sixth Form next year.”

Matthew Tompkins. Principal and Chief Executive Officer. GEMS FirstPoint School, The Villa

Our independent review of GEMS FirstPoint School in Dubai can be found here.

11:34am: Just in from Horizon International School*

“This has certainly been a year like no other. Following the furore around the current examination series, we first and foremost take a moment to acknowledge that this is the first time our 16-year olds have had their learning and outcomes judged so publically; it’s their first external milestone. We acknowledge how hard our students have applied themselves, together with the guidance and dedication of our staff. Both as a cohort and as individuals, there is much to celebrate and this should give our students the motivation and confidence boost they need for the next stages in their learning journey”.

Darren Gale. Principal. Horizon International School. 

100% of students at Horizon International School achieved at least five A-C/9-4 grades with 100% of students attaining grade C/4 or above in English Language, English Literature and Science. 53% of students achieved at least five A-B/9-6 grades and 40% of students achieved at least five A*-A/9-7 grades.

93% of students attained a grade 9-6, in English Literature, 57% attained a grade 9-6, in Mathematics, 80% of students attained a grade 9-6. In Science, 100% of grades achieved were 4 or higher.

Our independent review of Horizon International School in Dubai can be found, here.

*Thank you to our sister site WhichSchoolAdvisor.com for this report.

11:30am: Congratulations to all at GEMS Wellington Academy Al Khail:

“We are so proud of our Year 11 students, their GCSE results are outstanding!!

Congratulations to everyone that has contributed to Year 11’s significant success 🥳👏🏼”

Our independent review of GEMS Wellington Academy Al Khail can be found, here.

11:25am: *** Amazing *** results in from the fabulous Safa Community School in Dubai:

“SCS students have smashed the 2019 results!

An amazing set of world class GCSE results.

We are immensely proud of our amazing students.”

Our independent review of Safa Community School in Dubai can be found, here.

11:15am: Congratulations in from GEMS Wellington International School in Dubai to all its outstanding students and their best-ever GCSE results in 2020:

“Congratulations to all of our pupils 🥳 we are so pleased with all the results and today’s results prove that hard work really does pay off.

Our independent review of GEMS Wellington International School can be found here.

11:10am: UK’s Independent broadsheet confirms 1 in 10 students will now have access to their first choice university and course options following the U-turn on the way this year’s A Level grades were calculated – if British universities still have enough places (see our earlier story on the action taken by Durham University to cope with the demand for places it can no longer meet….)

Full story, here.

 

11:01am: Congratulations to all at Dubai British School Jumeirah Park:

We couldn’t be happier with our first ever set of GCSE results. They have certainly set the bar high for the years to come. Despite all of the confusion and angst over the allocation of grades, we are very confident that our students have received the grades that they deserve and that they have worked so hard for over the last 2-years.

Brendon Fulton. Executive Principal. Dubai British School Jumeirah Park

Dubai British School Jumeirah Park GCSE Results 2020
I/GCSE results 2018 2019 2020
No. of students in I/GCSE level cohort:  32
% of cohort entered for I/GCSE exams  100%
No. of exam entries  275
Total number of different subjects entered for  25
% of exam entries graded A*/9-8  37
% of exam entries graded A*-A /9-7  58
% of exam entries graded A*-B /9-6  82
% of exam entries graded A*-C /9-4  98
% of students achieving 5 A*-C/ 9-4 including English and Maths  100
Overall student pass rate A*-C
Highest number of grades achieved by an individual student(s) 9 grade 9’s (Youssef Saad)
Average Predicted Grade for 2020 Cohort  5.00
Actual average Achieved Grade for 2020 Cohort  6.88

Our independent review of Dubai British School Jumeirah Park can be found, here.

11:00am: GEMS lifts embargo on outstanding GCSE results across its schools in 2020. Full Press Information below:

“I congratulate all of our students for their outstanding results at IGCSE and GCSE.

We are proud of the performance of all our GCSE students in what has been a challenging year.

These results reflect not only the hard work and determination of our students but, also showcases the support of their parents and the dedication of our teachers. We wish all our young people every continued success in their future endeavours.” 

Jodh Singh Dhesi, Deputy Chief Education Officer, GEMS Education, said:

Dubai, UAE: Students from 21 GEMS Education schools celebrated yet another successful year of GCSE results today, despite the challenges presented by the global pandemic. GEMS schools returned a record 2,700 students who took over 19,600 IGCSE/GCSEs.

Across the GEMS network, more than 500 students achieved the highest grade 9. Of all grades across GEMS schools, 49 per cent attained grade 9 – 7 (A* – A) and 76 per cent were grade 9 – 5 (A* – B).

Highlights included:

  • GEMS Wellington International School achieved an extraordinary 26 per cent of entries at grade 9, and 94 per cent at 9 – 5
  • GEMS Jumeirah College returned 21 per cent of entries at grade 9 and 98 per cent at 9 – 5
  • GEMS Wellington Academy, Al Khail had 48 per cent of grades at 9 – 7 with nearly half of their students achieving a grade 9
  • GEMS Wellington Academy, Silicon Oasis scored 57 per cent of grades at 9 – 7 and 92 per cent of grades at 9 – 5
  • GEMS Winchester School, Jebel Ali reached 72 per cent of grades at 9 – 5 while GEMS FirstPoint School – The Villa achieved 80 per cent at 9 – 5
  • GEMS Founders School, Dubai performed superbly, with 44 per cent of students achieving a grade 9 and 80 per cent of entries at 9 – 5
  • GEMS Our Own English High School, Al Ain achieved 56 per cent of grades at 9 – 7
  • GEMS Cambridge International School, Abu Dhabi attained 46 per cent of grades at 9 – 7

Congratulation from the SchoolsCompared.com team to all at GEMS Education and their *** amazing *** students. 

10:39am: Safa Community School:

“Here we go again!!! GCSE results day! Can we beat the 2019 results. It will be a massive ask. Stay tuned …”

Our independent review of Safa Community School in Dubai can be found here.

10:22am: Wow! First 2020 live GCSE results in from Deira International School in Dubai:

“Congratulations to Aliza on her IGCSE achievements. Through her hard work and determination, she managed to achieve outstanding results.
Aliza achieved 8 A* & 1 A grade.”

Our independent review of Deira International School can be found, here.

10:21am: BSME:

“Wishing all students the best of luck! #GCSE2020 #IGCSE2020”

More on BSME, here.

10:20am: Dubai English Speaking College just in:

Our independent review of Dubai English Speaking College can be found here.

10:17am: Congratulations from all of us at SchoolsCompared.com to all A’ Level students who have now received their final adjusted results at Brighton College Al Ain:

10:14am: Excitement building now at Brighton College Al Ain:

“Good luck to our year 11 pupils who will be receiving their GCSE results today!”

10:12am: New from GEMS Wellington International School:

“We are looking forward to welcoming students to school for results day today.
Make sure you are wearing the required face mask and keep socially distanced at all times.”

Our independent review of GEMS Wellington International School can be found here.

10:10am: This in from The English College Dubai:

“🥁Drum Roll The Big Day has arrived…. GCSE Results Day! Are you as excited as we are?”

Our independent review of The English College Dubai can be found here.

10:01am: Excitement builds at GEMS FirstPoint School in Dubai:

GEMS FirstPoint on stand by to release this year's GCSE results to its students

“Year 11 – we are ready and waiting! We can’t wait to see you this morning to celebrate your GCSE achievements! Results are available for collection from 11am – 2pm.”

Our independent review of GEMS FirstPoint School can be found, here.

09:50am: This is an excellent article explaining the changes to how grades are decided today, what grades mean and the impact on students of using absolute and relative measures. The key question is what are exam grades for? Is it to restrict the number of students who can go to university? Is it to give an insight into how well students today are being educated? Is it to provide a benchmark to compare the performance of students today against those historically?  Is it a way to provide employers and universities a way to rank the academic ability of students? Are they a way to measure the potential of students?

For many parents and students, all of this probably does not matter. The impact of grades are what count – they decide whether students can attend university or access roles in business.

Full story, here. 

 

09:41am: An outlier voice on why grade inflation may be beneficial. Although this looks specifically at US universities, its central argument is a general one.

Full story here

09:35am: GCSE results today will be awarded to a generation of students who were not allowed to sit their exams. First results now expected at 10:35am ….

0927am: More local coverage of the positive impacts on UAE schools and students of the U-turn on A’ Level and IB results, here from the National:

Full story here.

09:20am: Background on why Pearson had to change tack on BTEC on their own problematic algorithm. The algorithm in many cases was seeing students receiving ungraded qualifications. The U-turn came late last night and will mean that no final BTEC results will be released today.

Full video here.

09:07am: A big welcome to Corinne Freeman, a student at GEMS Wellington Academy Silicon Oasis, who joins our coverage of this year’s GCSE results this morning. Ms Freeman told SchoolsCompared.com:

“I am very excited for GCSE results day.

My preparation consisted of revision timetables and plenty of revision cards.

I used the summer period before year 11 to study and make notes, which made the mocks in November much easier to process.

As I did not sit my final exams, I do have some concerns that my results may come back completely different to the mock results or my predicted grades but throughout the past two years I have put 100% effort into all my work and I hope that this shows in the statistical modelling.

If I were given a chance to do all the papers, I feel as though I might have had the chance to improve on my mocks.”

Corinne Freeman
GEMS Wellington Academy Silicon Oasis

We wish Ms Freeman the best of success in her GCSE results today.

Our independent review of GEMS Wellington Academy, Dubai Silicon Oasis can be found, here.

09:01am: Khaleej Times coverage which includes powerful examples of UAE students who have been impacted by the original algorithm used to determine grades:

 

Full story, here.

08:53am: BBC headline coverage of BTEC:

 

08:45am: The (sadly pay-walled) front page leader from the UK’s Telegraph broadsheet exploring the impact of the BTEC U-turn we exclusively reported on yesterday in the UAE. More than half a million children today will not receive their BTEC results – and a quarter of a million BTEC results already released will now be withdrawn and recalculated.

Full story, here.

08:37am: The awarding of teacher-recommended grades this year has seen many British universities struggle with meeting demand. The British government has removed the cap on places in order that students whose results have been upgraded after its U-turn on A’ level (and now BTEC) results can access the places originally promised but which, in many cases were released to other students when they did not meet the required grades.

The result in at least one case is that students are now being paid to defer their studies by one year as Durham University announces a bursary for deferring students.  

Full story, here.

08:30am: Excellent analysis by Chris Giles of the UK’s Financial Times broadsheet on this Year’s A’ Level examination results, which holds true of all algorithm-based results this year. Worth watching the whole video as Mr Giles explains how simple it would have been to take a different, much fairer approach.

 

08:25am: This in from Jodh Singh Dhesi, GEMS Education’s Deputy Chief Education Officer:

“More than 2,700 GCSE students from 21 of GEMS Education’s British curriculum schools will receive their results today.

Through a difficult year, GEMS’ GCSE students have acted with maturity, diligence and focus in working towards GCSE success during the current pandemic.

 Our GCSE students have worked extraordinarily hard to achieve their desired results. It has been inspiring to witness their skill and dedication towards remote learning and the changes which they have faced so maturely. Recognition must go to both parents and teachers who have co-ordinated superbly to ensure the best possible support for their students.

Last week’s excellent A Level results highlighted our ability to overcome challenges and continue achieving excellence as one community. I wish each of our GCSE students the very best for tomorrow’s results.”

We expect the first wave of GEMS results from 10:30am this morning.

08:21am: Official: Dubai British School Jumeirah Park results will be published at 11:00am this morning.

08:17am: Just in from Sinead Kehoe, Head of Secondary at Dubai British School Emirates Hills:

The Class of 2020 demonstrated a remarkable work ethic, resilience and dedication throughout the unprecedented circumstances of their last year at school. They have now been rightfully rewarded with outstanding results across the board. We are immensely proud of the tremendous achievement of our students. This has provided them with a solid foundation for the next stage of their education. The Class of 2020 are now set to pursue their studies at leading universities around the world.

These results are also testament to the talent and dedication of our teaching staff. Their whole hearted commitment to their students ensured that each and every one was able to strive for and achieve their personal best.

Our full review of Dubai British School Emirates Hills can be found, here.

08:13am: Thank you to the team at our sister site at WhichSchoolAdvisor.com who are collating this year’s results data. We expect GCSE results information from 3:00pm this afternoon.  The latest A’ Level results information below:

2020 Results No. of Students No. of exam entries % of exam entries graded A* % of exam entries graded A*-A % of exam entries graded A*-B % of exam entries graded A*-C % of exam entries graded A*-E
Al Yasmina School 85.6 99.3
Brighton College AA 18.2 42.4 74.2 97
Brighton College AD 61 45.4 70.7 89.3
BSAK 125 22 45 88
Cambridge International Dubai 14 33 98
Cambridge International AD 18 27 50
Cranleigh Abu Dhabi 26 23 49 73
Dubai College 126 414 24 60 95 100
Dubai British School 63 198 43 86 100
Dubai English Speaking College 228 743 18 40 66.9 88 99.6
GEMS Education Group 790 2200 37 62
GEMS Wellington Al Khail 19 49 76
GEMS FirstPoint The Villa 18 41
GEMS Founders Al Barsha 35 56
Horizon International 29 75 100
Jumeirah College 144 442 17.6 47.5 94.9 100
Kings Al Barsha 48 69 87
Kent College 26 83 99
Safa Communnity School 22 60 32 50 75
Sharjah English School
Sunmarke School 48 77 99
The English College 58 118 6 30 90 100

Revised results based on Centre Assessed Grades.

2020 Results No. of Students No. of exam entries % of exam entries graded A* % of exam entries graded A*-A % of exam entries graded A*-B % of exam entries graded A*-C % of exam entries graded A*-E
Al Yasmina School
Brighton College AA 24 66 24.2 54.5 95,5 100
Brighton College AD 61 22.4 57.1 96.1 100 100
BSAK 125
Cambridge International Dubai
Cambridge International AD
Cranleigh Abu Dhabi 26
Dubai College 126 414
Dubai British School 63 198
Dubai English Speaking College 228 743
GEMS Education Group 790 2200
GEMS Wellington Al Khail
GEMS FirstPoint The Villa
GEMS Founders Al Barsha
Horizon International
Jumeirah College 144 442
Kings Al Barsha
Kent College 26
Safa Communnity School 22 60
Sharjah English School
Sunmarke School
The English College 58 118

For reference, last year’s results may be found below.

2019 Results No. of Students No. of exam entries % of exam entries graded A* % of exam entries graded A*-A % of exam entries graded A*-B % of exam entries graded A*-C % of exam entries graded A*-E
Dubai College 131 480 26 62 95
Dubai British School 44 78
Dubai English Speaking College 178 561 17 41 70 91.1 99.6
GEMS Education group 600 1700 33
Jumeirah College 140 437 15.3 46.5 94.5 99.8
Kings Al Barsha  29
BSAK 97 316 18 46 67 89 100
Brighton College AD 51 11 40 68 86 100
Brighton College AA 24 74 7 27 82 99
Sharjah English 32 28 56 99
The English College 78 195 7 24 82 100
Cranleigh Abu Dhabi 15 37 29 63 82 100

08:05am: Off-the-record reports in from four schools this year that no GCSE student will be disadvantaged by their results, even if they fall short of those traditionally required to study certain subjects at Sixth Form. There is broad acceptance that it is fairer to accept students onto their preferred courses and address any issues later.

08:04am: We expect to see the majority of today’s GCSE results to start flowing in from schools from 11:00am this morning, with a number of school embargoing public information until all their students have been informed of their results. As below, we expect this year to see the highest grades awarded at GCSE in the history of UAE education as students perform outstandingly in the face of the extraordinary challenges inflicted on their education by Covid 19.

08:02am: Just in from Sahar Cooper, CEO of Aldar Education Aldar Academies (pictured), confirmation that this year more than half its students secured a Grade 7 or higher at GCSE with over 20 per cent achieving a level 9, this over five times the 2019 national average. Congratulations from the SchoolsCompared.com team to Aldar Academies’ leadership, teachers and students.

GCSE Results Dubai

Full Press Information below:

“· Aldar Academies, part of Aldar Education has reported a record-breaking year for results

· 52.9 per cent of students achieved a grade 7 or higher with more than 20.7 per cent securing a level 9

· 93.8 per cent achieved a grade 4, known as a “standard pass” or higher, overall

· Aldar Academies’ strong distance learning provision empowered students to achieve such solid results for their GCSE exams

· The announcement follows the news that last week, Aldar Academies achieved its highest recorded percentages of A-level results

Abu Dhabi, 19 August 2020: Aldar Academies, part of Aldar Education, has announced that almost 95 per cent of its students have achieved GCSE grades between 9 – 4, marking a new record for the education provider, boasting overall results more than 5 per cent higher than last year. More than 52 per cent achieved grades above a 7, with over 20 per cent achieving a level 9, over five times the 2019 national average.

Sahar Cooper, CEO of Aldar Education said:

“I am elated with the results across our schools; they have shown what can be achieved through hard work and resilience. This has been an unprecedented academic year and thanks to the future-focused education we apply at Aldar Academies, as well as the consistent dedication shown by our students and staff, supported by our amazing families, we have once again enjoyed record results.“

It is the second week of celebration for Aldar Academies, whose students attained the highest ever grades to date in their A level results with Al Ain Academy securing the highest reported results in the UAE.”

08:00pm: What a week. Even last night, at the 11th hour before results day, we have yet another U-turn, this time on BTEC. Now every one of the qualifications underwriting the British system of education has been subject to a re-boot that has seen justice win out against statistics, students, families and schools secure a rare victory for natural justice against decisions made by algorithms and ranking as the basis for deciding examination results and the future of students.

This was an important day for BTEC and full credit to Pearson who realised that to protect its qualification it needed to act. BTEC is no longer the second cousin to A’ Levels, but the current gold standard in technical qualifications worldwide (T Levels are coming …). It still surprises many parents to learn that it operates too as the hub qualification for the (outstanding) International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme, its technical alternative to the Diploma. The future of British education, and its reputation of the English National Curriculum and its bank of qualifications as the best in the world, depends on mapping out technical education. Today is a very good day for BTEC students, and the one they deserved – but is also a very god day for the entire British educational system as it will now, we think, be remembered as the day when BTEC, its students and the schools teaching it, had earned the right and gained the power to be treated equally.

On the day that we await this year’s GCSE results, which will, in almost every case now, be a day to celebrate, it is not a little ironic that this week’s debacle is raising questions that do need addressing about whether the GCSE qualification is required, or fit for purpose. Almost certainly, we believe, the GCSE as we know it today will not exist within the next ten years – and this week will have significantly hastened its demise. To understand just how momentous this week has been, you can read the complete bank of U-turn stories here:

More on the A Level and GCSE U-turn, here.

More on the International A’ Level and IGCSE U-turn, here.

More on the International Baccalaureate Diploma and Career-related Programme U-turn, here.

More on the BTEC U-turn, here.

 


© SchoolsCompared.com 2020. All rights reserved.

.…. please refresh page for updates. 

Send your exam news, photos, feedback and comments to jonathanwestley@schoolscompared.com. We will endeavour to report on all stories submitted…


Day One, Two, Three, Four Coverage below as a record of the most extraordinary week in British Education since Records Began. 

BBC: “It’s very, very messy indeed.” The way the BBC has lead with the government’s handling of A’ Level results can be found in the video below (starting at 1:35.) What followed later (no video) was an interview with the Head of the House of Commons Education Committee, Robert Halfon, describing the OFQUAL algorithm as Kafkaesque.

“This was always going to be controversial – basing grades on things that were not an actual exam, […] but [now] at the heart of this thousands of students are in limbo.”

Peter Saull. Political Correspondent. BBC.

More on Robert Halfon’s comments here.

02:58pm: More SchoolsCompared.com congratulations to Layal Hamra who shares with us her outstanding results in this year’s A Levels at GEMS FirstPoint School in Dubai.

 

Our independent review of GEMS FirstPoint School in Dubai can be found here.

2:20pm: Congratulations to Leyyah Bedderson from GEMS Wellington Academy Al Khail who has kindly shared her outstanding A’ Levels result this year with us this afternoon.

 

Our independent review of GEMS Wellington Academy Al Khail can be found, here.

2:10pm: Thank you – and congratulations from all at SchoolsCompared.com, to Anne Polintan, for sharing with us her outstanding A’ Level results this year. Ms Polintan asked us if she could publicly thank thank her school, GEMS FirstPoint, without which she feels she would not have been able to achieve what she did.

 

Our independent review of GEMS FirstPoint School in Dubai can be found here.

2:00pm: More on why even tempered and conservative sites like WhichSchoolAdvisor.com are now describing the current status of the system used to decide and appeal this year’s results a “debacle”. Five months of planning has led to …

01:47pm: Thank you to Brendon Fulton, Executive Principal, Dubai British School Jumeirah Park who joins the debate this afternoon. Mr Fulton writes:

“The government now has no choice but to seriously consider reverting to teacher assessed grades as they originally said they would do.

This morning’s u-turn reflects the fact that they clearly didn’t understand how mock grades work, and the inconsistency thereof amongst different schools. The criteria put forward by OFQUAL for centre assessed grades was clear and rigorous and so there should be no reason not to trust these grades, rather than submit them [instead] to nonsensical formulae that have clearly disadvantaged individual students.

The Dubai British School Group has been fortunate to not have many students in this situation. However, for those that are, we, as a school, are contacting universities directly to ensure that conditional offers are honoured. Where required, we are providing evidence of GCSE and centre assessed grades [to support their case].

Because the stakes are not quite as high [with GCSE results this Thursday], we expect less fallout in terms of individual students having to make life-changing choices due to the government’s algorithm. We also hope that some lessons have been learned and that the outcome does not leave some schools and students with no way to make sense of the final grades. Hopefully by then a clear and well-considered appeals process will be in place.”

Brendon Fulton, Executive Principal, Dubai British School Jumeirah Park

Our independent review of Dubai British School Jumeirah Park can be found here.

01:30pm: Letter from the President and Vice President of The Royal Statistical Society calling for a review of the algorithm used in the grading of this year’s student results by the Office for Statistics Regulation “ask[ing] in particular whether the models and processes adopted by the qualification regulators did in fact achieve [either] quality [or] trustworthiness.” The letter demands that the government establish a “benchmark to ensure [what has happened this year] “does not happen in the future – in this domain or in others.” The letter identifies “trade-offs” and “judgements” that should have been made public and “inadequate” evidence that it is even possible to accurately rank students. If it is not possible to accurately rank students then the whole basis of the algorithm fails.

14-08-2020-Letter-Deborah-Ashby-Sharon-Witherspoon-to-OSR

 

More on the inherent unreliability of attempts to rank students below. Whether this could be used as part of an appeal by schools is untested:

Ranking does not work.

 

01:23pm: A statistician’s explanation of the OFQUAL algorithm. End result:

“[..] serious consideration should now be given to awarding teacher-assessed grades (CAGs) this year.

While I was initially supportive of a standardisation approach – and I support the principles of Ofqual’s “meso-standardisation” – I fear that problems with the current standarisation algorithm are damaging rather than preserving public perception of A-Level grades.

We may have now reached the point that the disadvantages of sticking to the current system are worse than the disadvantages of simply accepting CAGs for A-Levels.”

George Constantinides. A-Levels and GCSEs in 2020.

Full story here.

01:10pm: As it stands, currently (01:10pm), the only key piece of information released by OFQUAL relating to an Appeals Process that has otherwise been withdrawn/deleted from the web in toto, is that any appeal submitted this year will not result in the grades being lowered for the student subject to the appeal. 

01:05pm: OFQUAL, the default regulator of qualifications, exams and assessments for British curriculum schools, would like to hear from parents who have a view on their handling of this year’s results and any advice they might have on what to do next. They can be emailed directly at public.enquiries@ofqual.gov.uk

12:50pm: Summary by our sister site WhichSchooldvisor over the “debacle” of this year’s results process. Our sister site is known for its very measured tone and the use of “debacle” speaks volumes.

More here.

12:45pm: Summary of exact and crystal clear position this afternoon as much as we understand it:

  • International A Level and International IGCSE students. Cambridge International has no comment. It will release advice on Tuesday 18th when/if it has developed its position.
  • A’ Level students. OFQUAL has no comment. Last night it withdrew its advice and entire Appeal process. No date has been given for when/if it will provide a functional Appeals Process.
  • The UK government claims it was not even aware that OFQUAL had published an Appeals Process. They are providing no comment this morning.

It would probably be lenient to describe this as an omni-shambles as the entire British educational system currently operates devoid of an Appeals Process and thousands of students wake up to another day denied university places with nowhere to turn. This, all on the basis of results from examinations they could not sit and an algorithm based on the results of last year’s students.

You could not  make this up.

12:29pm: Thank you for this, just in from a teacher who understandably does not want to be named because it could lead to identification of her students:

“As a secondary school teacher I am very concerned about the unfair impact of these results on the future of three of my most talented students.

Whilst I recognise that exam boards have had to find some way forward in this difficult situation, at our school it is the highest performing children who seem to been the most effected. One of my students has had her grades pulled down 2 points simply because the equation means they do not fit a pattern.

Teachers are professionals who have inputted grades with care. Yes, they will have been very cautiously, optimistic, in order to be fair to that young persons potential. But our recommended grades are accurate – and probably more so than exams.

In reality, at worst, the % increase that accepting the grades schools have put forward would only closes the gap which many external cultural  and socio-economic factors create. Grade inflation is not an issue – or should not be at least this year. With all that Covid brought to this generation, surely it would be better to go with not only school predictions but, in fact, the predictions that close the gap because they remove these influences and reflect, accurately, potential.

Historic data is not reliable. As investment advice constantly reminds us all, past performance is no guarantee of future performance yet with this algorithm we are presumed to be standing still.

Let’s hope the universities will account for this disparity in their entrance policies this year and that the 2020 A level students are not pulled back further still by the Covid 19 pandemic, social and cultural injustice – and a dreadful exam board equation. Appallingly, as it stands this morning, with no appeal process now to speak of on the table from OFQUAL, this is all the hope our students have left to reach for.

I know that parents can take some small comfort in knowing that we are all, as teachers and schools united, fighting to ensure that all our students get the results they deserve and get into their first choice universities.”

12:10pm: More (see our story at 11:40am) on the minimum 1 month delay to older children being able to return to school in September from our sister site WhichSchoolAdvisor.com. We are awaiting KHDA clarification on whether this will stand for Dubai and implicitly for the other emirates.

Full story here.

GCSE, A Level and BTEC Results. 11 – 20 August 2020. Rolling News …

12:01pm: As pressure mounts in the UK to ignore student results and allow offers to stand regardless, will UAE students lose out? One fall-out from this year’s results chaos is that universities are being pressurised to take UK based students regardless of achieved grades as it is left to them to pick up the pieces. The picture is mixed, with wildly diverging stories from students who have both received good will from their chosen universities, but also those from students who have been rejected for missing set grades by a single point. If UK universities do take on more home grown students this year, the question arises about how much this will impact on places for international students and the grade requirements imposed on them, particularly given the unfair perception from some quarters that private schools in the UAE are bastions of wealth and inequality.

Full story here.

11:40am: BREAKING NEWS. As if schools and parents did not have enough to contend with it is now confirmed that all Middle and Senior School Students in Abu Dhabi (From Grade 6/Year 7) cannot now return to school for one month after school’s open for younger children. At this point a decision will be made whether they can return at all based on safety and the then impacts of Covid 19. We have approached the KHDA (Dubai Government’s regulator of schools) to clarify whether this also applies in Dubai and the UAE MOE for whether this will apply to all emirates. Updates to follow …

11:20am: For those still arguing that the impact of the OFQUAL algorithm does not have any relevance for private schools in the UAE, the following intervention by Mark Leppard MBE is enlightening given that he writes for one of the very best schools in the UAE. As we reported on Day Three of our coverage below, the impact of the algorithm has hurt children from every type of school, including Eton.

“Almighty mess up by exam boards & UK Government.

A Business Student  cohort of 51 students.

50 had their grades reduced.

The % of grades matches previous year cohort exactly.

Shows a complete disregard for students/teachers & their incredible hard work.

#Humans not algorithms.”

Mark Leppard. MBE. Headmaster. British School Al Khubairat. 

Our independent review of the British School Al Khubairat can be found, here.

11:07am: Short video clip of one parent’s argument that we should accept grade inflation this year by accepting teacher-recommended grades if it means students are to get fair results. There are many parents in UAE schools today facing a very similar predicament – not helped by the now lack of any published Appeals Policy at all by the British government and British curriculum schools regulator OFQUAL.

Full story here.

11:00am: Summary mirroring widespread calls today by UAE schools for the British government to end the confusion “once and for all”:

“It is [now] time for ministers to stop the chaos and fall back on teacher-assessed grades rather than prolong this nightmare.”

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders

10:42 Worth quoting comments from Dr Tony Breslin, widely quoted today by broadsheets discussing the current chaos facing students, families and schools wishing to appeal their results:

“What they [OFQUAL] have worked out, to be blunt, is that the suggestion of using mocks to appeal was so ill thought out that if something is going to be used from the centre [schools] then surely it is smarter to use a centre-assessed [teacher-recommended] grade that has been arrived at after an incredibly rigorous process which Ofqual set the rules for… [..]  OFQUAL never set the rules for mocks. They simply don’t know what they are buying. What this announcement from Ofqual confirms is that they think the centre assessed grades [teacher-recommended grades], that they didn’t want to go with, are in fact more reliable than the mock exams, that they are being told to go with.”

 

10:30am: Schools have asked us to advise parents that they have no further information on Appeals. All we currently know is that OFQUAL proposed new Appeals process, one that would have allowed inclusion of coursework as part of a school’s submission on behalf of students where Mock Examination data was not available or unreliable, was withdrawn only hours after it was published. Schools will contact parents directly as soon as they have clear guidance.

 

10:19am: Thank you to Brett Girven, Principal of the Arbor School Dubai who joins our debate this morning:

An aerial image of the Arbor School in Dubai showcasing the biodomes at the hub of school life

“While exam days and exams, in general, have been difficult for everyone, the most important thing to remember is that every school group has been out to do it’s best by the children, despite being forced into a situation that they are unhappy about.

I do feel for those students who have been placed under even more stress having to sit exams or in this case, not able to sit exams. Schools have been under real pressure to try and make very accurate judgements, and it comes down to how well you know your children and how robust your school systems are. If these two things come together, then generally a school will have a successful outcome. Having to respond quickly and change direction in response to what’s going on at government level, has always made it difficult for schools, but change is constant, and schools will always rebound and respond to change and do what’s best for the children.

We are in the slightly fortunate position here at the Arbor School that while we are a growing secondary school, now up to year 8, we can sit back a little and reflect, and use the experiences of our peers as they go through these difficult times to try and ensure that when we are at the level of having year 10 students and GCSE students in school, we will make sure that our assessment systems are robust, that we know our children inside and out, and that we have a clear tracking system so we are aware of who’s ‘on track’, who is meeting the potential, and where children are not yet doing so, we will make sure we back fill those gaps.”

Brett Girven. Principle. The Arbor School Dubai.

Mr Girven picks up the vital point about just how important individual child data is in schools – a point consistently made by the KHDA and ADEK.

Our independent review of The Arbor School can be found, here.

09:59am: Calculation is now that 97% of students receiving their GCSE results this week in the UK will have had them made on the basis of the OFQAL statistical algorithm with absolutely no reference to teacher-recommended grades. Whilst no reliable analysis has been made of the equivalent reliance in UAE schools, the advice of teachers will have been ignored in the awarding of most GCSE results awarded in UAE schools this Thursday. As with A’ Level results, parents should not blame schools or teachers for errors in awarded grades.

09:47am: Many parents are now emailing asking what is,exactly, the current status of the Appeals Process. The answer is that it is on hold. What we do know is that changes, prior to its being placed on hold, would have enabled their schools to use student coursework as part of any Appeal (subject to its meeting specific criteria) where Mock Examinations were not taken. As OFQAL have now removed any information on the planned changes we cannot, as of 09:47am 16/08/2020, assume that this change will be carried forward as they review their decision. As it stands, schools have no way of knowing currently on what basis they can appeal their student’s grades. To all intents and purposes there is now no means of appealing this year’s results.

09:35am: The UK’s Telegraph newspaper is tellingly now expressing exasperation with the British government describing the U-turn by OFQAL as “remarkable.” This is now not only about the annual upset caused by students missing results or, as one Telegraph columnist summarises it, “every A-level setback is an individual story of pain – no matter how big or small. Anything that stops a young person from following the dreams they’ve worked hard to achieve – having been told that hard work would be enough – is a personal tragedy.”

Yes, there are some commentators sticking rigidly to the line that the only difference this year is that the media are “hysterically” giving prominence to the voices of those who have missed their grades and that emotion is being used to cloud the absolute, “Big Picture” need to protect the system from grade inflation at any cost.

Our view is more nuanced.

This is not the same year as any other year as student’s, through no fault of their own, have not been able to sit their exams at all. The algorithm used to decide results ignores teacher-recommended grades with few exceptions (only where there are very small cohorts of around 5 entries for a given subject) and the only (minor) element used as part of deciding results that is based on each child’s actual performance is historical and unreliable (how they performed in GCSEs). The greatest weight in the algorithm is given to how schools performed historically with completely different students. This year it seems self evident that the only fair way to decide results, given that no examinations have taken place at all, is on the basis of teacher recommendation (itself based on many of the elements OFQAL is hastily trying to now add to the basis for any appeal including mock results and coursework).

As it stands, even those students who have received the grades they needed, can really only benchmark what they have received against their teacher recommended grades with any certainty – and not through the paper they have received from Exam Boards. This is the reality of this year’s results, even if few are saying it out loud.

09:20am: Worth noting that the British examination system has always worked on the basis of awarding results based on ranking children rather than providing a determination of each student’s academic achievement in an absolute sense. This is not unique to this year’s results. Grades each year are adjusted to ensure there is not grade inflation with the number of grades awarded at each level limited to a certain percentage of children. This means that, theoretically, an A* rated examination paper in one year could be only a C rate examination in another based on identical work. This year’s results have raised questions with this approach – particularly in GCSE English and Mathematics which are seen as the basis for every child’s ability to access employment and further study – and lead successful lives on leaving school.

09:15am: It’s a difficult balancing act for schools. They are trying to both celebrate the outstanding results of their A Level cohorts this year, whilst also looking after those students who have had teacher-recommended results discounted. More news on how British Curriculum schools have achieved this year for students throughout the day. Our first updates from schools are expected at 10:25am.

09:01am: UK’s Daily Mail describes the situation facing students as a “farce.” The story covers recent developments and the history of how the system has fallen into “disarray”.

Full story here.

08:58am: BBC lead story on OFQAL statement now placing the entire Appeals Process in a state of limbo.

Full story here.

08:50am: Link to Cambridge International Holding statement buying time to decide on how to deal with appeals for this year’s International IGCSE and International A’ Level results (more on this at 8:00am below)

Full story here.

08:39am: Link to OFQAL U-turn retrenchment and holding statement on the Appeals Process (see our post at 08:00 below on new chaos in this year’s results)

Full post here.

08:30am: A Linked-in post by Paarul Shah covering the attempt by Oxford and Cambridge alumni to get their colleges to accept students if their grades do not match those predicted/recommended by their teachers. We have included this post because it provides links for alumni to sign the petition for those in the UAE who wish to support the move.

Full post here.

08:24am: Another post from Mike Lambert, Headmaster, Dubai College this weekend, questioning the way this year’s GCSE and A’ Level results have been calculated. As we discussed over our first three days of coverage below – why did the British Government even consult teachers? The answer seems to be that it could then blame teachers for the results – and they, rightly, are having none of it. As we have seen already, schools are at the forefront of fighting for student’s to have teacher-recommended results accepted.

Mr Lambert’s Twitter feed can be accessed here.

Our independent review of Dubai College can be found here.

08:15am: This is in from GEMS Cambridge High School in Abu Dhabi

“At GEMS Cambridge High School we are delighted with our overall results awarded by the examination boards in this unprecedented year.

We have seen an increase in our overall outcomes in both A Level, AS and IGCSE which underlines that we are a good and improving school.

27% of our students attained an A* or A grade at A Level and 44% attained an A* or A grade at IGCSE.

There were some outstanding individual results and I am extremely proud of all of the students and teachers for their hard work and resilience in such difficult times.”

Stephen Brecken, Principal/CEO, GEMS Cambridge High School

Our independent review of The Cambridge High School, here.

08:11am: UAE coverage a mixed picture over the weekend. The National focuses on the positive stories around those students who did receive grades that matched those recommended by teachers. We are not convinced by the headline.

Full story here.

08:05am: UK’s Guardian newspaper confirms OFQAL Second U-Turn on Appeals Process:

Full story, here.

08:08am: Updated results from UAE schools now in.

2020 Results No. of Students No. of exam entries % of exam entries graded A* % of exam entries graded A*-A % of exam entries graded A*-B % of exam entries graded A*-C % of exam entries graded A*-E
Al Yasmina School 85.6 99.3
Brighton College AA 18.2 42.4 74.2 97
Brighton College AD 61 45.4 70.7 89.3
BSAK 125 22 45 88
Cranleigh Abu Dhabi 26 23 49 73
Dubai College 126 414 24 60 95 100
Dubai British School 63 198 43 86 100
Dubai English Speaking College 228 743 18 40 66.9 88 99.6
GEMS Education Group 790 2200 37 62
GEMS Wellington Al Khail 19 49 76
GEMS FirstPoint The Villa 18 41
GEMS Founders Al Barsha 35 56
Horizon International 29 75 100
Jumeirah College
Kings Al Barsha 48 69 87
Kent College 26 83 99
Safa Communnity School 22 60 32 50 75
Sharjah English School
Sunmarke School 48 77 99
The English College 58 118 6 30 90 100

Thank you to our sister site, WhichSchoolAdvisor.com, who is compiling the table of this year’s results for us.

08:00am: It’s been a very long weekend for students, parents and schools. A brief recap of where we are now.

  • Cambridge International students remain in the dark over how the Exam Board is going to respond to the now widely accepted failure of the algorithm used to determine results for this year’s International A’ Level and International GCSE results. Cambridge International has set itself the deadline of Tuesday 18th August to let parent’s know whether it too will U-turn on results and the Appeals process. This will have meant UAE schools and many parents and students having to endure seven days of worry and confusion. The irony of students having their results first this week – but being the last to know how their Appeals Process will work is not lost on them.
  • OFQAL (The British Government) has overnight announced multiple more U-turns.
  • First, hidden in the fine print of how Mock Examination can be used as the basis for appeals, it OFQAL confirmed that where results from Mock Examination do not exist, schools could submit appeals based on coursework.
  • Second, OFQAL then withdrew this – and its entire published Appeals Process, including how Mock and Examinations and Coursework could be used as part of an Appeal, whilst its Board re-considered how to actually enable this to happen effectively.

As of 8:00am on Sunday 16 August 2020, there is now not a single school, family or student in UAE British curriculum schools expecting results in GCSE, IGCSE or A’Level examinations who knows the exact status of this year’s results. 

Hopes that universities would step in to mop up the pieces by ensuring that no student lost out on their courses because of unreliable results data have been dashed. Many universities have taken entrenched positions and insisted on student’s meeting results in full.

Bottom line? The lives of students and their families are in chaos this week – and worse is to come with even more students, schools and families expecting to see teacher-recommended results downgraded when GCSE results are announced this Thursday (20th August) …

The UK government needs to get a grip …

 

Day Three, Day Two, Day One results recap below …

5:00pm: And that’s a wrap from Day Three of our coverage of Exams Week 2020. This has probably been the most eventful, arguably disastrous period in UK curriculum education – and one not helped by multiple messaging and U-turns by the British Government only 24 hours before A’ Level results were released today. The professionalism and care our schools have shown to their students just cannot be praised enough – we know that the pressures that they have been placed under over the last 48 hours would have broken individuals of lesser conviction and commitment. A big thank yiou to all the schools that have shared their stories – and helped us celebrate their students – on Day Three of SchoolsCompared’s annual Exam Week LIVE!

But it is to the students today that we reserve our last words for. What every one of you has achieved this year is extraordinary. No one will ever be able to say that you are not A* students as you were robbed of the chance to sit your exams. Whatever results you were awarded today, you are part of a unique and special generation that has faced challenges and stresses that were immense, unfair and unforgiving. You are the stars of today. From all at SchoolsCompared.com, our sister site WhichSchoolAdvisor.com – and all your schools who we know will now face weeks ahead of them fighting for you ….. a very big

Well done!

04:52pm: Another story we have been waiting for …. Legal action was, arguably, inevitable.

Full story here.

4:50pm: Excellent Q&A from the BBC with answers ti many of the questions we have been bombarded with today. Well worth a read.

Full Q&A here.

4:38pm: Table of results so far. Thank you to our colleagues at WhichSchoolAdvisor.com for putting this together for us.

2020 Results

2020 Results No. of Students No. of exam entries % of exam entries graded A* % of exam entries graded A*-A % of exam entries graded A*-B % of exam entries graded A*-C % of exam entries graded A*-E
Al Yasmina School 85.6 99.3
Brighton College AA 18.2 42.4 74.2 97
Brighton College AD 61 45.4 70.7 89.3
BSAK
Cranleigh Abu Dhabi 26 23 49 73
Dubai College 126 414 24 60 95 100
Dubai British School
Dubai English Speaking College 228 40 66.9 88 99.6
GEMS Education group 790 2200 27 37 62
GEMS Wellingtonn Al Khail 19 49 76
GEMS FirstPoint The Villa 18 41
Horizon International 29 75 100
Jumeirah College
Kings Al Barsha 48 69 87
Kent College 83 99
Safa Communnity School 22 60 32 50 75
Sharjah English
The English College 58 6 30 90 100

2019 Results

2019 Results No. of Students No. of exam entries % of exam entries graded A* % of exam entries graded A*-A % of exam entries graded A*-B % of exam entries graded A*-C % of exam entries graded A*-E
Dubai College 131 480 26 62 95
Dubai British School 44 78
Dubai English Speaking College 178 561 17 41 70 91.1 99.6
GEMS Education group 600 1700 33
Jumeirah College 140 437 15.3 46.5 94.5 99.8
Kings Al Barsha  29
BSAK 97 316 18 46 67 89 100
Brighton College AD 51 11 40 68 86 100
Brighton College AA 24 74 7 27 82 99
Sharjah English 32 28 56 99
The English College 78 195 7 24 82 100
Cranleigh Abu Dhabi 15 37 29 63 82 100

04:26pm: Thank you to Marc Morris, new Principal of GEMS Jumeirah College in Dubai for joining us on SchoolsCompared Exams Week LIVE! 2020. Congratulations to all his students:

“I am delighted to be in a position to offer my congratulations to Jumeirah College students on their excellent A Level results.

They have maintained the high standard that is both expected and established at the college and secured university places of first choice.

I also want to pay tribute to the teachers and parents who have worked so hard to support our young adults in striving to achieve their academic potential in this most challenging of years.

Congratulations to all and best wishes with future challenges and courses.”

Marc Morris. Principal. Jumeirah College Dubai

Our independent review of GEMS Jumeirah College can be found here.

04:18pm: EXCLUSIVE. *** Finally *** we have the official reports from OFQUAL due to be released this morning at the confusing cancelled-not cancelled-cancelled press conference this morning. The first document provides the executive summary, the second, the full report. Analysis will follow….

6656-2_-_Executive_summary

 

6656-1_Awarding_GCSE__AS__A_level__advanced_extension_awards_and_extended_project_qualifications_in_summer_2020_-_interim_report-compressed

 

04:12pm: Results in from GEMS Founders School in Dubai:

“GEMS Founders School, Dubai received our first ever A Level results this year with our first group of Year 13 children.

All of our students performed exceptionally well and achieved within or above their potential starting points based on CAT4.

Some highlights include Art and Design achieving 100% A*-A grades, Computer Science achieving 100% A*-B grades, English Literature achieving 100% A*-B grades and Psychology achieving 80% A*-B grades.

We want to celebrate all our students successes and wish all of them the best as they leave to universities including the University of New York, Groeningen University, Netherlands, and the University of Warwick, UK.”

Matthew Burfield. Vice President, Education & Principal/Chief Executive Officer, GEMS Founders School, Dubai

Our independent review of GEMS Founders School in Dubai can be found here.

04:03pm: Thank you to Mia Al Aawar for sharing her outstanding A’ Level results this year with the SchoolsCompared.com audience. Warmest congratulations to all at GEMS FirstPoint School in Dubai.

03:59pm: Thank you to Badeea Amir for sharing her outstanding A’ Level results this year with the SchoolsCompared.com audience. Many congratulations to you and all your fellow students at GEMS FirstPoint School in Dubai.

03:51pm: Results in from Sunmarke School Dubai. Press Information, in full, below:

A Level and BTEC Results Press Release 2020

 

03:45pm: Results in from Dubai English Speaking College:

“Like all schools, we are treating the results published today with a level of caution given the recent information from the UK.
We expect the picture to change somewhat over the next few days and we are working hard to support all students as they try to secure their desired places at the universities of their choice.
Our results are reflective of the majority of schools with a 40% difference between the data that was presented to the boards compared to the final grades that have been awarded.
There was never going to be a perfect solution to the unprecedented circumstances the students in this cohort faced but for some students the discrepancy in what they have been awarded compared to their expected grade is a difficult outcome to accept.
We have no doubt this will change once it is made clear how these results can be appealed.
40% of our 228 students (highest cohort to date) received an A*-A .  41 students gained 3 or more A*/A grades.
66.9% of students were awarded a A*-B, over 88% A*-C and the pass rate is 99.6% A*-E.
We wish all our students the very best and congratulate them on all their hard work over the last two years.
We thank all staff who have worked with the students to achieve these grades”
Chris Vizzard. Headteacher. Dubai English Speaking College. 
Our independent review of Dubai English Speaking College can be found here.

03:44pm: Results in from Kings’ Al Barsha celebrating improved outcomes with 48% graded A– A, 69% A– B, and 87% A– C. 54% of all students achieved 3 A– B grades:

“This has been a difficult few months for many families, so we are delighted that our children have received such great news with their exam results today.

They were denied the opportunity to prove themselves in their exams, and with the ongoing controversy in the media surrounding examination results, the past few weeks have been a particularly difficult wait for them, their parents and us as teachers.

It is wonderful our children’s hard work and efforts have been recognised, and they now have access to their universities of choice.”

Michael Bloy. Secondary Head Teacher. Kings’ School Al Barsha.

“Kings’ School Al Barsha opened just under six years ago, and this is our second cohort of A-Level students. We are thrilled with the results today; however, we are more proud of the individuals we are sending out into the world.”

Rebecca Gray, Principal, Kings’ School Al Barsha.

Highlights include results achieved by Manvi Gupta who achieved 5 A* and will be reading Economics at Cornell University, Shaden Hanish who achieved 3 A* and 1 A grade and will be reading Law at Queen Mary University of London, and Haya Hamwi who achieved 3 A* grades and will be reading Communication Science at University of Amsterdam.

Rimsha Rizvi achieved 2 As and 2 A grades and will be reading Computer Science at University of Toronto, Canada, Musab Haron achieved 2 As and an A and will be reading History at Unversity College London, whilst Aayah Qureshi achieved 1 A* and 3A grades and will be reading Language and Culture at University College London.

Mirabel Hardy achieved 1 A* and 2 A grades and will be reading Economics and Mathematics at Nottingham University, Khan Calikili achieved 1A* and 2A grades and will be reading Theoretical Physics at University College London, and Arwa Aljabri achieved A grades in all three sciences and will be reading Medicine at Queen Mary University of London.

03:26pm:  First fixed position from Keir Starmer, British Leader of the Opposition now officially calling for government to scrap statistical model:

“The Government needs to urgently rethink. We need to guarantee the right to individual appeals, the fee for appeals waived and nothing to be ruled out, including the U-turn that was forced on the Scottish Government last week.”

03:14pm: Feedback from schools coming in that offering an olive branch of sitting exams later will solve nothing given that there will still be no level playing field with students from previous years given the disruption to learning, notwithstanding the investment in Distance Learning, since March. It will also be too late for university applications and inflicting yet more stress on students is “unacceptable.”

03:09pm: It is telling when the UK telegraph broadsheet changes the focus of its editorial from justifying the government’s statistical model because it protects the system from grade inflation (this morning – see our Day Three coverage below) to leading on “Extremely concerned school leaders calling for statistical model to be scrapped” (this afternoon). The story is paywalled but for subscribers can be found here. Will the British government stand firm?

 

02:59pm: Another revealing segment from LBC highlighting how the AS Level solution adopted in Wales would have avoided much of today’s chaos had this been available.

Full video here.

02:45pm: OFQAL: “ministerial direction that, as far as possible, overall results should be similar to previous years”. Read: We did what we were told by the British government and made the results fit regardless of what students actually achieved according to the people who know their students best.

02:42pm: Important update from Sky News re the impact of the British Government’s decision to ignore teacher’s recommended grades. For the many schools we now know are grappling with student heartbreak, you are not alone. Confirmation now that in the UK “[s]ome 35.6% of marks were adjusted down by one grade, 3.3% were brought down by two, and 0.2% came down by three.”

Full story here.

02:30pm: Big thank you to the leadership team at Dubai British School for taking their time out this afternoon to join the debate on Day 3 of our Exams Week Live Coverage. Many congratulations from all at SchoolsCompared.com to all their students. The below express the frustrations of the majority of schools in the UAE …

Simon Jodrell, Principal of Dubai British School commented:

“Often the phrase ‘unprecedented’ is used to describe out of the ordinary day to day challenges, and indeed this year the A-level and BTEC students have faced an experience that no other examination cohort has.

This has been enormously challenging for all.

The British government’s decision to base A-level results on ‘statistical norms’ has led to a discrepancy between robust internal measures and final grades awarded, which has unfortunately disadvantaged many students.

This is in contrast to previous announcements which clearly stated that no student will be disadvantaged by not being able to take their formal exams.

As iterated then by OFQUAL, the professional judgement of the school and teachers who know the students best must be given priority when determining results.

The decision, therefore, to use historical statistical norms and a school’s trend data on previous cohorts is baffling.

Without the ability to prove themselves through a formal exam process, students are being forced to accept results that bend to suit statistical models, rather than results which recognise their personal input over the last 2-years.

At DBS, we continue to celebrate the hard work, effort and achievements of our Class 2020, and we are committed to supporting them as they move on to both University and other life paths, ensuring that their individual performance and potential is not placed in doubt by a measure of performance which is now clearly questionable.

The British government’s announcement yesterday regarding the use of ‘mock’ examination results as a means of entry to University, alongside results provided, acknowledges that the measure by which results have been achieved is flawed.

We await the definition of ‘mock’ from the government as this clearly differs from school to school.”

Sinead Kehoe, Head of Secondary at Dubai British School continued:

“Across the United Kingdom and at international British curriculum schools, this year’s A-level and BTEC results were awarded under very unusual circumstances.

Schools were asked to provide estimated grades based on their individual knowledge of students which will have included a full raft of assessment data across the previous years’ of study during the full course.

To calculate the final grades, statistical models were applied externally to these results that schools provided.

We have full trust in our teachers’ estimated grades and the rigorous processes that were applied when calculating and submitting these.

Based on these grades, Dubai British School was on track to achieve the year-on-year improvements that we have become accustomed to.

While we are disappointed that there is a disconnect between the statistical modelling used at the national level and our own teachers’ grades, we remain optimistic that the current appeals processes which have been released by the UK government will work in the favour of our students most greatly affected by this.

We have been investigating these appeals processes as more information is shared and have already begun to plan for how best to support our students and individuals in getting into their chosen universities.

Despite the unprecedented circumstances, we are incredibly proud of the effort of our teachers and students in preparation for these final results.

Our A-level and BTEC results continue to be very strong and in line with our high achievement from previous years.

However, we do believe they are not yet indicative of the results that this particular cohort of students were capable of getting.

We look forward to further clarification from the British government and relevant bodies on the next steps to obtain a more accurate review of our students’ abilities and achievement levels.”

02:24pm: Latest from GEMS Cambridge International School:

“We are delighted to congratulate our A Level students on their academic achievements.

They have made astonishing progress during a year that has been unpredictable and have shown a determination and resilience during these extraordinary times.

Our students have all achieved, so now they move on to master the stage, and bring their presence to the world!”

Lachlan Mackinnon – Principal/CEO, GEMS Cambridge International School

2:20pm: Results in from Campbell Douglas, the new Principal and Chief Executive Officer of GEMS Wellington Al Khail:

“We are absolutely delighted with the outstanding results our first cohort of A-Level students have achieved.

These results are not only a testament to the wonderful, diligent students we have here at the GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail, but also the dedicated and hardworking staff who go above and beyond for their students.

These results reflect what it means to be a truly inclusive community, where staff, students, and parents work hand in hand to achieve amazing outcomes.”

Campbell Douglas – Principal/CEO, GEMS Wellington Academy, Al Khail

Our independent review of GEMS Wellington Academy Al Khail can be found here.

2:14pm: More from GEMS FirstPoint in Dubai celebrating outstanding results from every one of their students:

“All students at GEMS FirstPoint can be defined as outstanding, we are a school that finds the excellence in every child.  Our Sixth Form results are a real testament to this with roughly 45% of all grades awarded in 2020 being at A or A* and 70% of all grades being a B or better.  Within these excellent results we have a large number of students who will be ranked among the best students in the world for their outcomes.  A selection of them are below:

Badeea (A*, A*, A*), Mariam (A*, A*, A*), Christine (A*, A*, A, A), Mia (A*, A*, A, A), Maxim (A*, A*, A), Jaafar (A*, A*, C), Anne (A*, A, A, A), Tasneem (A*, A, A, B), Swetha (A*, A, B), Ana (A*, A, B), Gunduz (A, A, A), Nadezhda (A, A, A) Mafazul (A, A, B, B, B). 

We are so proud of all of our students and the work they have done.”

Matthew Tompkins

Principal / CEO

cid:image002.jpg@01D0DE66.5B8AADF0

02:08pm: Full breakdown of results from Brighton College now confirmed (Wow!. Ed.):

Brighton College Abu Dhabi A’ Level Results 2018 – 2020
A Level results 2018 2019 2020
No. of students in A level cohort: 69 51  63
No. of exam entries 69 51  61
Total number of different subjects entered for  26  25  21
% of exam entries graded A* 13.3% 11.4%  15.1%
% of exam entries graded A*-A 41.8% 41% 45.4%
% of exam entries graded A*-C 94.7% 86.1% 89.3%
% of exam entries graded A*- E 100% 100% 99%
Overall pass rate A*-E 100% 100% 99%
Highest number of grades by individual student(s) 8A* 3A*   1A  2A* 2A 1B
Predicted Average Overall Grade for 2020 Cohort  B B B- Jan prediction
Actual Achieved Overall Grade for 2020 Cohort  B  B  B

 

02:04pm: New in from British School Al Khubairat commenting on yesterday’s government U-turn on Mock Examinations:

“Today feels quite different to previous years’ results days!

It is a strange feeling and very much a mixed set of emotions for us.

We are of course very proud of our students and delighted to celebrate their success but at the same time, we acknowledge that for some, there is a sense of disappointment with the outcomes and don’t feel they fairly reflect their ability.

It was always going to be a challenge for the UK Government and exam boards to manage this process, however, what is important now is that we work with our students to ensure that they have the support they need to move on to the next phase of their education and lives.’

Teresa Woulfe. Head of Secondary. British School Al Khubairat. 

01:45pm: Welcome to the British School Al Khubairat in Abu Dhabi who have joined our blog today:

 

Headmaster, Mark Leppard MBE commented:

“As Headmaster I am so proud of how our students have coped with an extremely challenging set of circumstances beyond their control. Throughout the whole process they have really impressed me with their adaptability, resilience and positivity.

I want to take the opportunity to thank our amazing staff for everything they have done to support our students throughout their BSAK education. This, combined with the support from home throughout the Sixth Form has certainly given them a great foundation, as they move on to the next exciting chapter in their lives.”

01:40pm: Results in from Cranleigh Abu Dhabi. Full Press Information follows:

DATE: 13 August 2020. Cranleigh Abu Dhabi are celebrating a second year of outstanding A Level results with 23% of students achieving the top A* grade, 49% receiving an A* or A and 73% graded A*- B.  Over a quarter of students achieved 100% A and A*. Sixth Form students also performed well in the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), with 68% achieving grades of an A* and A, and 95% achieving a B grade or above. The results were significantly higher than the UK National Average and on a par with top selective UK independent schools. 

The Cranleigh Abu Dhabi A Level cohort has secured their desired places at top universities worldwide, including St Andrews University, UCL London, King’s College London, Concordia University, University of McGill and University of Virginia across a wide range of topics including Biomedical Engineering, Psychology, Electronic Engineering, International Politics, Economics, Film Production, Art & Design, Mathematics and Physics. 

The 2020 A Level cohort is Cranleigh’s second group of A Level students and has exceeded last year’s excellent grades. Gains of up to 17% have been seen between the 2019 and 2020 results demonstrating the momentum of the Cranleigh Sixth Form in spite of the backdrop of school closures due to COVID-19 and the challenges of remote learning.  Cranleigh Abu Dhabi has maintained its strong academic results. 

 

Cranleigh Abu Dhabi

A Level results

2019

2020

No. of students in A level cohort:

13

26

% of exam entries graded A*

6

23

% of exam entries graded A* A

37

49

% of exam entries graded A* A B

64

73

Overall pass rate 

100

100

 

Principal Michael Wilson said, “Our A Level students have received grades that reflect their ability and the hard work that they put in during the past two years at Cranleigh. They are moving on to universities of their choice and are well prepared for the next stage of their education. A consistent demonstration of resilience and commitment has elevated this group of outstanding individuals despite the absence of the exam cycle motivation.  They have proven themselves to be strong leaders to the rest of the school community. We are hugely proud of this group of young men and women, and wish them the very best in their futures.”

Vice Principal (Academic) Damien Ward, said “It is encouraging to see our students have performed exceptionally well again in their A Level studies in the face of challenging learning circumstances. At Cranleigh, exam results are viewed as only one of the outcomes central to our measures of success. Our educational philosophy delivers a rich and diverse set of experiences and opportunities enabling students to develop key life skills as they move through the school. What these results prove is that this can be done without sacrificing academic excellence.

Students are already focusing on their futures and most have had their university places confirmed. Delighted student Esha Saigal (pictured above. Ed.) took four A Levels gained A* and 3 A grades to secure her place at University of Virginia. Reflecting on her A Level experience she said “I’m definitely happy with the grades that I’ve received. Cranleigh has always placed a great emphasis on small class sizes and student teacher relationships, which I feel has led it’s students to success. Cranleigh’s intention has always been to develop us as holistic individuals. I’m heading over to the University of Virginia in the fall to study Global Studies, a course that combines history and international relations and I couldn’t be happier. Cranleigh allowed me the flexibility not only to choose what I wanted to study, but who I wanted to become, and that flexibility has definitely paid off in all of our results today”

Cranleigh Abu Dhabi Sixth Form which opened in 2017 has since doubled in numbers and continues to show the same growth trajectory for the coming academic year. Small class sizes and a university style of teaching offer an exceptional personalised learning environment that supports and motivates each individual. High academic standards as well as numerous bespoke training, work experience, internship and life skills opportunities (IRENA, Model UN, World Scholars Cup) ensure a balanced CV at the end of the school experience. Core and life skills are honed via weekly careers sessions and an extended, non-traditional work placement which runs from October to March each year, and sees students working with companies such as SAAB, NYU, Emirates Diplomatic Academy, Ramada Hotels group and PWC three hours per week for 20 weeks.”

01:32pm: Dubai College results released. 126 students in the 2020 cohort entered a total of 414 exams. The results reflect its students’consistent 3-year average of 60% A*/A grades at A Level. 24% of exam entries were graded A* (compared to 26% last year), whilst 60% (62%) were graded A*-A, 95% of entries were graded A*-C and students again achieved a 100% pass rate. Dubai College, reflects powerfully much of the debate we have covered over the first three days of SchoolsCompared.com Exam Week LIVE! in drawing attention to the complexity of the position schools and students find themselves in through no fault of their own:

“We are currently in the midst of the most complicated results day in the history of the qualification.

The problem with celebrating headline statistics is that they do not tell the 126 individual stories currently playing out in school.

This situation has the potential to be unsettling for many of our students and there is no doubt that today’s results will look very different in a week’s time.

These published grades reflect the 3-year average which Ofqual announced would be the basis for this year’s A Levels results across the world. They have been produced by Ofqual’s computer algorithm and in many cases are not the grades which the school had anticipated for students nor do they reflect the true account of our students’ performance in public examinations.

Whilst it is very pleasing that ten students gained a full house of A* grades, six of whom achieved this rare feat in four A Level subjects, we must contextualise these results within the current shifting context.”

Dubai College’s students will again be heading to top tier universities around the world, including Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial and University College London in the UK; MIT, Stanford, Yale, New York University and University of Pennsylvania in the US; Toronto and University of British Columbia in Canada; Sydney and Melbourne in Australia and Trinity College, Dublin, among many others.

Michael Lambert, Headmaster of Dubai College said:

“Today is a results day like no other and there is still much that is uncertain about these results.

On Tuesday night UK education secretary Gavin Williams announced that students who would like to request the use of a valid mock result instead of their Ofqual moderated grade would be able to do so through an appeals process.

Individual students will need to notify their school or college who will provide evidence of their mock results to their exam board.

However, as yet, the process has not been finalised and there is no guarantee that mock results will supersede moderated grades.

There is also the chance that the UK government will follow the lead of the Scottish parliament and reinstate the centre assessed grades which schools submitted to the examinations boards in June.

What is most important right now is that we are on hand to answer questions and enable our students to progress to their next stage on their path.”

Our independent review of Dubai College can be found, here.

01:27pm: Schools are joining together to celebrate the *** outstanding ***achievement of  *** every *** student against all odds in the year of Covid 19.

Shared spirit on a day that surely deserves it….

 

01:20pm: A *** BIG *** thank you to Safa Community School in Dubai for sharing live videos celebrating the outstanding achievements of all its students. Wow!

01:05pm: Safa Community School in Dubai has announced its results.

Full Press Information below:

Safa Studnets Smash 2020 A level Results

 

SCS A Level Results

 

Which School Advisor - Sheet1

 

Our full independent review of Safa Community School can be found here.

01:01pm: Thank you to English College Dubai for sharing their fabulous video drive-by celebrating outstanding results by students in 2020.

12:58pm: Brighton College Al Ain results in with highest A’ Level grades in three years.

Full Pres Information follows:

Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, 13th August 2020: Brighton College Al Ain pupils are celebrating record A Level results today thanks to their unwavering hard work and dedication to their studies, despite the challenging times of this year’s examination process, with the College’s pupils progressing to leading universities around the world.

Consistently included in the UAE’s best performing schools, Brighton College Al Ain’s overall pass rate for A Level results this year is 97%, with pupils achieving 18.2% A* grades, 42.4% A-A  grades and 74.2% A-B grades.

Brighton College Al Ain pupils who achieved outstanding A Level grades this year include the following:

Misha Stewart : AAA*  in English, Psychology and Art and Design

Muhammad Faisal: AAA in Physics, Economics and Maths

Natasha Branicki-Tolchard: A*AA in History, Politics and English

Sarah Johnson: AAB in English, Spanish and Mathematics

Head Master Dr Kenneth Greig commented: “I am incredibly proud of this year’s A Level students who have faced adversity, uncertainty and challenging times, and have shown that hard work and dedication pays off, having achieved the highest A Level results the College has seen in three years. These results reflect the growing academic maturity of the College, and the very high aspirations of our pupils and our staff. We wish the class of 2020 every success in their next steps.”

Head of Sixth Form at Brighton College Al Ain Mr Joe Hall said: “All of our 2020 graduates have worked incredibly hard over the past two years and I am extremely proud to be able to see the recognition of this on paper, and for them to have achieved a superb set of A level results. There is a great deal to celebrate and staff and parents will be extremely impressed with what they have received. Educational qualifications have always been much more than a recognition of performance in an examination and although this year was different, and there has inevitably been some confusion the way in which results have been awarded, our pupils should be just as proud of what they have achieved as those in any other previous years. Where we feel the final awarding has, in a few cases, not done justice to our pupils’ achievements then the College will of course make that known to the examination boards. Well done to the class of 2020 and the very best of luck for the future”.

12:46pm: Brighton College Abu Dhabi results in. Full Press Information below:

Brighton College Abu Dhabi Sixth Formers Progressing to Prestigious Universities Around the Globe

Pupils Score Another Year of Outstanding A-Level Results

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 13th August 2020: Brighton College Abu Dhabi pupils have achieved another set of outstanding A-Level results this year, despite the enormous pressures they have been subjected to over the last few months, and as always, will now progress to prestigious universities around the globe. This year, pupils have not only achieved stellar results, but have also have built up immense resilience in adversity, and even more confidence in the use of IT than previous cohorts have needed. The high marks achieved this year continue to build upon Brighton College’s year-on-year achievements which distinguish the school, yet again, as it heads towards its tenth year in operation in the Capital, and adding to its 150 years of education success with Brighton College UK.

After continual hard work and dedication from Brighton College Abu Dhabi pupils, 45.4% of all grades achieved this year were A* – A, 70.7% of grades achieved were A* – B, 89.3% of the grades achieved were A* – C, and the value added to this year’s results at 0.6, over half a grade added on average, shows the impact of excellent teaching at the College and a more significant statistic than raw results. Brighton College Abu Dhabi is extremely proud of the hard work and diligence of its UAE national pupils who have achieved 59% A– B and 88% A – C grades.

High achieving pupils who are celebrating top level grades this year include the following pupils:

Hazem Issa (Egyptian)                                     2A* 2A 1B

George Sebastian Hirjoaba (Romanian)          2A* 2A

Gyeongmin Noh (Korean)                               2A* 2A

Razaan Ganatra (Canadian)                             4A

Ahmed Shehata (Egyptian)                              1A* 3A

Leen Kharouf (Jordanian)                                2A* 1A

Kiran Mungroo (Trinidadian)                            3A*

Lilianna Givanakis (Australian)                         3A*

Ed Nur Aqil Jeffry (Singaporean)                     1A* 2A

Jorge Diez Malo de Molina (Spanish)              3A

Hala Doshan (Palestiniaan)                              3A

Awo Yusuf (Canadian)                                     3A

Simon Corns, Head Master of Brighton College Abu Dhabi said, “This school year has required extraordinary levels of resilience from pupils, parents and staff, and it is a massive tribute to all of the Brighton College Abu Dhabi community that our results are even better than last year’s. Ambiguities do remain about the appeals process and, if common sense prevails in the end, these results will improve further still, ensuring that all our pupils have grades which they have every right to be proud of. My thanks and congratulations go to all, whatever the outcome, and there is a team of expert and experienced teachers now available to all pupils and parents who need support as they seek to confirm university places and to challenge any results that seem unfair. We will be fighting hard for them!”

Amit Patel, Head of Sixth Form said, “We are incredibly proud of the exceptional results achieved by our Class of 2020. As we know, they have endured a year like no other group of pupils, and they have demonstrated maturity and strength that proves that they are ready for the exciting challenges that lie ahead of them. I would like to thank parents and teachers for their part in guiding our pupils through the uncertainty, and for their support during such unprecedented times. As they now begin to accept university offers from around the world, we wish them the best of luck. The Brighton College Abu Dhabi Class of 2020 will be remembered for many years to come, not just for their ability to overcome, but for their kindness, their spirit and their warmth.”

 

12:40pm: Results flooding our studios. Congratulations to all students at Kent College in Dubai who have reported that “99% of all A-level examinations taken this year resulted in passes, with 83% within the critical A*-C bracket.”

Full Press information follows with exclusive data.

“Press Information. Official. Kent College Dubai.

12th August 2020

  • 99% of all Year 13 examinations result in passes with 83% at A*-C grades

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (August 12, 2020): Kent College Dubai celebrates the release of A-level results. With worldwide uncertainty and concern regarding the determination  of qualification grades in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, Kent College Dubai is celebrating the successes of its A-level cohort, the largest in its short history, as pupil achievement eclipses that of those before.

99% of all A-level examinations resulted in passes, with 83% within the critical A-C bracket. This is an increase upon the previous best of 75% at A-C and marks the end of a turbulent time for the Year 13 pupils.

Timothy Hollis, Head of Senior School at Kent College comments, “These results are testament to the hard work and determination of our Year 13 pupils and teachers, all of whom have worked with professionalism and diligence throughout these difficult times.

I have been amazed by the continued effort and commitment of our whole community as they have given their very best, learning valuable lessons right up until the end of the term. Pupils have optimised the opportunities in front of them, and shown their character and commitment to learning that has served them well, and will continue to do so long into the future. This year group will not only be remembered for their great results, but for their resilience and character in difficult and trying times. I also extend huge gratitude to our wonderful teachers who lead by example, with passion and professionalism, to develop the very best qualities in our pupils. Through their hard work I am confident that our young graduates will make a positive contribution to the environments to which they embark”

The Principal, Mr Anthony Cashin echoed his congratulations to the pupils and teachers.

“The recent A-level results are truly indicative of the quality of teaching and learning here at Kent College. I would also like to join in and congratulate our cohort of graduating pupils who have achieved great success and their teachers for providing such engaging learning opportunities during the online/distance period. I wish our graduating class every success with their future endeavours.”

As a cohort, the recent results achieved by the pupils at Kent College continue the long-term trend of growth and improvement, with all pupils working diligently in achieving their individual successes. In particular, Jonas Kurten and Lorenzo Raimondi, who each gained 5 top A-level qualifications, alongside Hannah Meredith and Ashleigh Brits who achieved straight A*-A grades, KCD pupils are now looking forward to the challenges the very best universities in the world have to offer.”

Results in Full

Name of School: Kent College Dubai
A Level results 2018 2019 2020
No. of students in A level cohort: 4 13  28
No. of exam entries 11 32  76
Total number of different subjects entered for  8  13  15
% of exam entries graded A* 0% 4%  6%
% of exam entries graded A*-A 18.18% 25%  24%
% of exam entries graded A*-C 54.55% 75%  83%
% of exam entries graded A*- E 90.91% 97%  99%
Overall pass rate A*-E 90.91% 97%   99%
Highest number of grades by individual student(s) Three:

 

3 x A Level

Three:

 

3 x A Level

Five:

4 x A Level

1 x AS

12:35pm: Breaking news from Sky confirming that 35% of A’ Level results recommended by teachers have been downgraded by one grade. As we reported earlier, in some schools we have seen grades reduce by three points. We expect this story to dominate education press.

Full story here.

12:29pm: National reporting on schools willing to fight the exam boards tooth and nail in the face of downgraded results. The story comes in the wake of results from Cambridge International on Tuesday reported on Day One of our coverage below in which more than 50% of teacher’s recommended grades were ignored. Front page feature below:

12:21pm: UK’s ITV now confirming significant rise in places taken up at UK universities with a reported year on year rise of 3%:

Full story here.

12:15pm: *** Finally *** after three days of silence, the Gulf News comes through with a story on this year’s results with highlights from GEMS Education student achievement across their schools.

Full story here.

12:10pm: More from Horizon International School in Dubai celebrating their student’s 100% pass rate at AS and A’ Level.

Full press information follows:

Horizon International School celebrates top A Level results 

Dubai, UAE: (13 August 2020): Horizon International School, part of Al Najah Education, is celebrating impressive 2020 AS and A Level results.

As a thriving and developing Post 16 provider, the school has grown in popularity and success as a result of its personalised pathways, which cater for, and support the specific needs and interests of its students.

The 2020 Post 16 results reflect another year of exceptional performance by Horizon International School’s students in both attainment and progress. Out of the entries for this year, 29% of exam entries were awarded A-A, and 75% of entries achieved A-C grades. Horizon International School enjoyed an overall pass rate (A*-E) of 100%.

“It has been a year like no other in education with the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in one of the most crucial times for examination classes. I am so proud of the students, staff and parents at Horizon International School who celebrate the impressive outcomes today. They are testament to the commitment, dedication, support and teamwork during the most challenging and trying of times. Our students and staff have shown unquestionable resilience and determination to succeed and for that, we must congratulate them for being excellent role models from whom we can all learn about success in adversity,” says Darren Gale, Principal at Horizon International School. “

Top student results and achievements for the 2020 AS and A Levels:

  • Aleezay Atif achieved A Level results of A, A, B in Business, Media and Economics, respectively. 
  • Year 12 students Talia Aldarrai, Aia Amir El Khag and Ahmed Elgaradiny all achieved A, A, A in their AS subjects. 
  • The first Science AS Levels achieved a 100% pass rate with 67% B+ in Chemistry and 50% B+ in Biology and Physics. 
  • 75% of Art AS students achieved B+, with 50% attaining the highest grade of an A. 

University now beckons for some of Horizon International School’s Post 16 students: 

  • Aleezay Atif’s results have earned her a place at her first-choice university, where she will read Business Administration and Marketing. 
  • Yasmeen Makki is progressing onto American University Dubai (AUD), to study Media and Advertising
  • Similarly, Yousef Makki is enrolling at the Higher College of Technology to study a Bachelor’s degree in Business Quality Management.”

12:01pm: Fabulous to have world class universities now on our doorstep appealing directly to all our talented students here in the UAE:

 

11:50am: EXCLUSIVE. Latest results in from The English College in Dubai who are reporting 90% of their students achieving A-C grades across all their subjects. Congratulations to Aisha Hassan (pictured) who secured an A, A*, C and will now be going to the University of Amsterdam to continue her studies.

Full Information below:

“The English College would like to celebrate yet another successful year for our A level students. As a non-selective school, we have maintained outstanding results and have demonstrated year on year improvement with 90% of our students achieving A*-C grades across all their subjects.

We would like to thank all of our teachers for their hard work and to the parents for their continuous support. We are exceptionally proud of all the students collecting exam results today. As a year group, they have demonstrated positivity, resilience and an amazing work ethic that has clearly paid off. We are delighted that their hard work has been rewarded and wish them all the best in their next step in life.”

The English College Results 2020
A Level results 2018 2019 2020
No. of students in A level cohort: 61 78  58
No. of exam entries 164 195  118
Total number of different subjects entered for  19  19  18
% of exam entries graded A* 5% 7%  6%
% of exam entries graded A*-A 22 25%  30%
% of exam entries graded A*-C 85 83  90%
% of exam entries graded A*- E 99% 100  100%
Overall pass rate A*-E 99% 100  100%
Highest number of grades by individual student(s) A* A* A* A* A* A A  A* A  A A

Our full independent review of The English College in Dubai can be found here.

11:36am: Excellent 2 minute discussion with LBC’s Nick Ferrari making exactly our point (10:05am below) that at least the Welsh system have a real exam on which to peg the exam results on rather than one made up in “fairyland” or hell depending on your viewpoint.

Full video here.

11:27am: More on the confusion of OFQAL’s abandoned-not abandoned-abandoned Press Briefings from the Daily Express. We are none the wiser – and more importantly nor are schools and students. We have already been contacted by one school confused whether they are “allowed” to release any information before 1:30pm this afternoon because of an apparent embargo.

Full story here.

11:10am: Results in from Horizon International School in Dubai. Highlights include a 100% pass rate at AS and A Level,  while the first Science AS Levels achieved a 100% pass rate with 67% B+ in Chemistry and 50% B+ in Biology and Physics. A total of 75% of Art AS students achieved B+, with 50% attaining the highest grade of an A.

“It has been a year like no other in education with the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in one of the most crucial times for examination classes.

I am so proud of the students, staff and parents at Horizon International School who celebrate the impressive outcomes today.

These results are testament to commitment, dedication, support and teamwork during the most challenging and trying of times.”

Darren Gale. Principal. Horizon International School.

Our independent review of Horizon International School can be found here.

11:09am: UK Independent newspaper taking a different angle on this year’s results highlighting possibilities of student demonstrations (“You have to be proactive when it is your future at stake”).

Full story here.

11:00am: Second across the line this morning from Matthew Tompkins, Principal and Chief Executive Officer of GEMS FirstPoint School in Dubai:

“All of us at GEMS FirstPoint School are so incredibly proud of our A’ Level students who have achieved fantastic results this year.

After two years of hard work and outstanding resilience throughout the pandemic, our Sixth Form students have set new records across a large number of subjects.

Overall, nearly 45% of all grades awarded to our students were A or A* across the 27 subjects that we offer in our Sixth Form.

We wish all of our students well as they graduate to the next phase of their lives.  They are no longer our students but they will always remain members of our GEMS FirstPoint family.”

Matthew Tompkins. Principal and Chief Executive Officer. GEMS FirstPoint School

On behalf of all of us at SchoolsCompared.com, many congratulations to students, teaching faculty, Matthew and his leadership team at GEMS FirstPoint.

Our independent review of GEMS FirstPoint School can be found here.

10:49am: Excellent article from our sister site WhichSchoolAdvisor.com exploring our story at 10:31am below on UK university’s response to this year’s results “chaos”.

Full story here.

10:40am: First results in! Aldar Academies has announced record grades for its 2020 A-level results, with more than 1 in 3 students achieving A* – A across all subjects. The “outstanding results are the highest to date for A-level students within Aldar Academies, with 99.3 per cent of students passing all subjects and 85.6 per cent of students achieving a pass level of A* – C.” Full Press Information below:

“OVER ONE THIRD OF ALDAR ACADEMIES STUDENTS ACHIEVE A* AND A GRADES IN RECORD A-LEVEL RESULTS YEAR

  • Aldar Academies, part of Aldar Education, is celebrating a record year of A-level results with more than 1 in 3 students achieving A* or A across all subjects
  • Almost 100 per cent pass rate has been achieved for all students, with more than 85 per cent achieving A* – C grades
  • These record results have been attained thanks to Aldar Academies’ distance learning provision, which was awarded the highest possible rating across all academies by ADEK, crediting the ‘strong leadership and a unified approach to distance learning’

Abu Dhabi, 13 August 2020: Aldar Academies, part of Aldar Education, one of the UAE’s leading private education providers, is proud to announce record grades for its 2020 A-level results, with more than 1 in 3 students achieving A* – A across all subjects. The outstanding results are the highest to date for A-level students within Aldar Academies, with 99.3 per cent of students passing all subjects and 85.6 per cent of students achieving a pass level of A* – C.

Sahar Cooper, CEO of Aldar Education, said: “It is wonderful to be celebrating our highest ever A- level results today; this is testament to the consistent hard work and tenacity of our A-level students. This success has been made possible thanks to the passion and dedication shown by our education team and the immense support from our families.

“At Aldar Academies, we pride ourselves on providing our students a future-focused education that instills the skills to be resilient and agile to adapt to new challenges. We wish all our students well in their endeavors and look forward to seeing them become our leaders of tomorrow.”

The results come after the news that all Aldar Academies schools were awarded the highest possible grading of developed by ADEK for their distance learning provision. The reports highlighted the strong leadership and unified approach to distance learning, as well as effective planning and use of digital platforms and tools in creative and effective ways.”

 

10:32am: More rumours swirling that OFQAL will now release updated information on the Appeals Process later this afternoon.

10:31am: The UK’s Time broadsheet is reporting that, with the credibility of the Appeals Process now in question, universities are responding to calls to resolve the chaos of this year’s result and protect students.

The story is paywalled but confirms that universities will soften grade thresholds for students. Full story here.

10:24am: In response to a question from a parent Oxford and Cambridge Universities do not offer places through clearing.

10:20am: Guardian comments interesting on the potentially higher impacts to come on GCSE results from the exam boards algorithm to decide final results:

“It’s possible the impact of Ofqual’s algorithm will be felt even more widely on GCSE candidates. While A-levels are taken by a higher-attaining strand, GCSEs are taken by almost everyone, meaning that there is a wider spread of abilities involved. While course sizes are larger and may be more consistent, Ofqual is only using two years of past data. And prior attainment – the other key metric used by Ofqual – dates back five years, to when this year’s GCSE candidates took standardised tests in primary school, making that data more erratic for individuals.”

10:10am: Reports that OFQAL have cancelled their planned Press Conference are not filling schools with confidence that the new way of appealing results on the basis of Mock Examinations is going to be workable.

10:05am: The Welsh government has taken a different approach which enables students to use their AS Level grades as their final result. Where students have set AS Level this would seem a considerably more equitable approach than using Mock Examination results which are not taken in many cases and run in very different ways across schools.  The very different approaches adopted across the UK is not helping perceptions of consistency or fairness. More on this here.

09:58am: Worth listening to this segment from LBC on why Mock Examinations are not likely to help many children secure better grades and one example where the historic performance of a (UK) school (this is the key cause of teacher predicted grades being reduced by the algorithm used by exam boards) is causing perceived unfairness. Full video here.

09:46am: We are now being contacted by schools advising that we can expect their first comments at 11:00am after all students have been presented with this year’s results and systems are in full swing to ensure every child is properly supported. Embargoed comments should be sent by schools to eimearmckennasingh@schoolscompared.com. Please clearly identify restrictions on release. 

09:39am: BBC leads with the angle that this will be the first year in the history of British education where students will be receiving results without sitting exams. For schools in the UAE the key fact is their reporting of an overall 2% rise in A* and A grades at A’ Level. Many schools in the UAE use UK school performance to benchmark the quality of their results. Full story here.

09:30am: In answer to parents contacting us, the UCAS Customer Experience Centre opens for applicants at 11:00am (8:00am in the UK). Telephone: +44 330 333 0230.

09:20am: Comment in from parent responding to Tuesday’s results from Cambridge International which they have asked us to publish in full:

“I want to highlight the gross unfairness of downgraded results by Cambridge International. Of course, those parents with children securing high grades are remaining quiet. But thousands of other families, like ours, are in turmoil. Our child secured 90%+ percentages  and A* grading internally throughout his study, but were not allowed to sit exams.

The results we have received this week have seen our child’s results downgraded and unrecognisable.

It feels like no one is listening to the voices of children and families damaged by this compterised system of grading which ignores the recommendations of teachers.

Our view is simple. Cambridge International needs to rip up their results already issued this year and go back to the drawing board.  The future of children across the UAE will be blighted forever if they do not act to put right a clear breach of natural justice and basic standards of fairness and humanity.”
Muhammad Azam. Al Ain. Speaking to SchoolsCompared.com.

08:12am: Next in our round up of the international press on A’ Level Results Day, the UK’s Daily Mail, which leads on how “11th-hour changes left grades in chaos, teachers in despair and appeals set for meltdown.” On the basis of our analysis and reports from our panel we think that the Appeals Process has, in fact, made it very difficult for schools or students and their families to enter appeals with much of the publicised availability of the appeals process “spin.” More on this in our Day Two coverage below. Expressions like “three-layered pudding of confusion”, “wreckage” give an idea of the potential fall-out today with Mock Examinations described as “most singularly inconsistent bit of information that could possibly be used” for appeals.  Full story here.

09:06am: This is an important video for those students seeking potential grounds of appeal. We think that schools will have best hope of conducting successful appeals if they use the tool found at 0:34 which allows them to call into question the relevance of historical data. This, however, will only work if a school wishes to fight for an uplift in every child’s results. Parents should note that they are barred from making individual appeals (lots more on this in our Day Two coverage below).

09:03am: Gavin Williamson, the UK’s Education Secretary, justifies why he will not accept the lead of the Scottish government in accepting teacher recommended grades for students.

08:54am: The Telegraph is leading on the government’s refusal to accept the grades put forward by teachers. Pressure has mounted (and continues to mount) for the government to follow Scotland’s lead in accepting teacher recommended grades in full. The story focuses on the government’s argument that doing so would cause grade inflation.

This, however, begs the question of who knows student’s best? Schools or government imposed statistical algorithms? The bigger question is what is more important – grade inflation in a single year or the futures of thousands of children who have had their ability to sit examinations taken from them. The story is paywalled but can be accessed here by subscribers.

08:49am: Worth pulling out the first response from a school in the UK facing ruinous results drawn from the Guardian lead story (below):

“[I feel] shock, anger, dismay, disbelief” [after seeing the results awarded by Ofqual’s algorithm.] “We seem to have the worst results we’ve had in the last three years. I’m pretty cut up. I feel like I’ve let [my students] down. I don’t know what else we could have done. We followed all the guidance. We did everything they said. We didn’t inflate grades.”

08:43am: The UK’s Guardian broadsheet is leading powerfully on the “despair” being caused by this year’s results and confirms overnight reports we have received that some schools are seeing teacher recommended grades shredded with up to 50% of grades revised downwards.

A Level Results 2020 Crisis of confidence

Full story here.

08:40am: Still waiting for (any) coverage from the Gulf News on this years A’ Level results. They are being unusually quiet ….

08:31am: Mark Ford, Principal of the English College (quote below) is in our view absolutely right to focus on the critical role that will be played by Universities this year in putting right the chaos caused by exam boards. Responsibility will ultimately fall on their shoulders to ensure that student’s are not refused entry to their chosen courses this year because of results awarded in this year’s quite exceptional circumstances (an understatement). There is some cause for hope for UAE students seeking to study in the UK. British universities are facing a severe downturn in places traditionally taken up by international students, particularly from China, which has resulted in greater availability in clearing for places.

08:27am: First news in from The Khaleej Times (“Parents, students in UAE keep fingers crossed, as A-level scores set to be released on August 13”) with a short story focused on students waiting results and little mention of the surrounding chaos caused by yesterday’s U-turn by the British government. None of the major local broadsheets reported on the crisis yesterday despite its potential impact on thousands of UAE children at British curriculum schools. Full story here.

08:19am: Reports are now confirming that Cambridge International will not allow the use of Mock Examination data as part of their appeal process for the review of grades awarded on Tuesday for International GCSE and International A’ Level. We are still awaiting an official statement. If this stands, it will only lend more confusion and stoke the fire of those claiming that examination results are not being awarded this year on a level playing field.

08:11am: Worth noting, as we reported yesterday on the basis of calculations made by our advisory panel of teachers, the results of Mock Examinations are likely to help very few children (see Day Two coverage below). This is because mock examination results see an uplift of between one and three points measured against actual grades each year – and not all schools sat Mock Examinations. Where Mock Examinations were sat, they were carried out in different ways across schools so it is unlikely that for any data drawn from these can be made consistent across schools. OFQAL has yet to announce what it will require from schools who wish to lodge an appeal for students based on Mock Examination results. Understandably, this confusion has heavily impacted on schools and students receiving their results today.

08:08am: Just in from Mark Ford, Principal of the English College Dubai, a response reflecting the widespread “frustration” felt by schools across the UAE in now having to deal with the U-turn made by the British government in allowing Mock Examination data to decide final grades:

“The leadership team at The English College spent a significant amount of time carefully analysing data and awarding grades that they believed students deserved. Teachers and Middle leaders reviewed a range of evidence sources, as recommended by exam boards, to ensure the grades awarded were accurate and a fair reflection of a student’s ability. Almost all teachers have taught their students for a number of years and as a Senior Leader, I felt they had done an amazing job in this respect.

As a school we have significant evidence to show that the majority of students demonstrate accelerated progress from the time of the mock exams (which are held in December/January) against their final examination results. The decision to allow students to select between their mock exam vs their awarded exam is pointless, as students generally should have progressed over the past 6 months, and undermines the hard work and professionalism of teachers.

We wish the very best for our students and hope Universities are considerate of the challenges that students this year have faced.”

Mark Ford. Principal. The English College Dubai.

Our independent review of The English College Dubai can be found here.

08:03am: The first of the day’s coverage from the National is in with reports of student disquiet at International GCSE and A Level results released on Tuesday.

Full story here.

08:00am: Welcome to Day Three of our coverage and it’s the big day for students waiting for A’ Level results across the UAE. We expect UAE British curriculum schools, as a whole, to buck the trend worldwide to lowered teacher recommended results for students, this despite significant anger at last minute changes yesterday as the British Government performed a U-turn on appeals which allowed the use of results achieved by students in Mock Examinations to decide their final grades. More on this in our Day Two coverage below.

More than 40% of students worldwide are seeing the results recommended by schools changed as the result of an algorithm put in place by the exam boards to prevent an estimated 12% grade inflation that would have resulted from the exam boards accepting teacher recommended grades. UAE schools, taken as a whole, however, outperform their UK counterparts.

The algorithm upgrades or downgrades final grades using a formula that combines historical data on how well students have performed at each school in previous years (2017, 2018 and 2019(A’ Level) and GCSE (2018 and 2019)) with an adjustment for each student’s previous attainment (at A’ Level they look at each student’s GCSE grades and at GCSE they look at student’s KS2 scores). Only where schools have a small cohort of entries in a subject is the historical data and prior attainment of data being ignored – and in these cases teacher recommendation are being accepted in full.

The formula is hitting lower performing schools very hard. We had confidential reports last night from a school in the UK state sector that had seen the final grades pulled down 4 points for some students with the exam board equation being described to us as “dreadful.” This said, we had reports yesterday of disquiet from four Dubai schools who reported “significant” lowering of teacher recommended results in International GCSE and International A’ Level results which were released by Cambridge International on Tuesday. One concern is that those schools that are most inclusive and open to the broadest mix of child abilities will be hit the hardest given the strong role played by historical data.

We are expecting our first reports from schools at 10:25am.

.…. please refresh page for live updates.

 

Day Two – Results Week LIVE! GCSE, A Level and BTEC Results. 11 – 20 August 2020. 

5:00pm. And that’s a wrap for Day Two of Exam Week coverage from SchoolsCompared.com 2020. We hope you have enjoyed the journey and learned as much as we have during this tumultuous day of U-turns and proliferating information. We must thank all those schools who did contribute today. This involved taking themselves away from preparation for the most important day of the year tomorrow for many children – and on a day in which the results of Mock Examinations took on an importance inconceivable even 24 hours ago. To say that British curriculum schools today have been swimming in statistics and overwhelmed with worries about how to best look after their students tomorrow would be an understatement. We also extend a big thank you to all those parents who have contacted us and we hope that we have at least in part been able to answer your questions and put your minds at rest. Finally, thank you to our panel of teachers and Principals who have advised us throughout the day. they must for obvious reasons remain anonymous, but they know who they are and we could not have completed today without them.

Finally, and most importantly, to all the students who will receive their results tomorrow – you are AMAZING. No ifs. No buts. AMAZING. What you have had to go through this year – including even today with a U-turn from the British government that has again confused everyone (except them), deserves the utmost respect. Whatever grades you receive tomorrow, know this. No one will ever be able to say that you would not have secured an A* in every subject had you been given a fair chance. You were not, and through no fault of your own. We expect universities to remember this – and, for those of you wanting to study subjects at Sixth Form that may not be supported by your results tomorrow, we trust that your schools will show you the support and good will that you undoubtedly deserve.

4:57pm: Below are the official published grounds for appealing against grades tomorrow. This document does not include reference to mock examinations – and where it does, the examples used are now wrong. However, it does explain clearly the position re potential bias or malpractice and what a student, or their family, would need to evidence to support such a claim. We think that all schools should be providing every student with a copy of this document, with a clarification sheet to account for errors and local relevance, tomorrow with their results.

Information_for_students_about_malpractice-7-8-2020

 

04:48pm: This is the clearest paragraph so far from Ofqal about appeals and the reason why they have rejected allowing schools to make the final decision on the results their students are awarded:

“An individual student cannot make an appeal against the judgements made by their school or college – that is, they cannot ask for the school or college to think again. This is because any appeal would have to be done by someone better placed than teachers to judge a student’s likely grade; in the circumstances this year, we do not believe there is such a person. However they can ask their school to check what they submitted, to check for errors.

A school or college can appeal if they believe the historical data used for standardisation was not a reliable basis for predicting their 2020 results. This might include situations where there’s been a substantial change in the demographic make-up of the centre, perhaps if a single-sex school has changed to co-educational. Or where there is concern about the way the statistical model could affect individual high-ability students who might be expected to receive results that are out of line with the school or college’s historical results. In these cases, the best way to judge this will be by the school or college reviewing the results for the whole centre, and, if appropriate, submitting an appeal.”

For parents seeking grounds to appeal, the above sentence, highlighted in bold, may be of help in negotiating with your school.

 

04:38pm: What follows is a very long article originally published in the Telegraph by Roger Taylor, Chair of Ofqal, justifying the system in place to determine the GCSE and A Level grades students will receive tomorrow. It was written before today’s government u-turn on Mock Examinations, but the core justifications remain relevant. You will have your own views on whether they stack up. We have highlighted in bold paragraphs that we believe deserve attention.

“The fairest possible way to recognise students’ achievements this year.

Results day, whether for GCSEs and A levels, is an emotional moment for young people across the country. This year, it will be especially so as grades are being awarded without young people having had the chance to prove their knowledge and skills in exams. Instead, they are being awarded grades on the basis of teacher judgements that have been moderated to ensure, as far as possible, consistency and fairness.

Around 5 million GCSE, AS and A level grades will be issued to students in England on results days. We expect the vast majority of the grades awarded to be within one grade of the centre assessment grades submitted by teachers. We know teachers worked extremely hard to deliver this year’s arrangements and credit must be given to them for the care and professionalism with which they approached the task. We owe them our thanks for making this year’s exceptional arrangements work fairly for their students.

When the Secretary of State took the difficult decision to cancel exams to help fight the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), it meant great uncertainty for students. In response, the education sector came together to develop and deliver the fairest possible way to recognise students’ achievements this year. This has been a cross-sector collaborative effort and we are hugely grateful to colleagues across the exam boards and awarding organisations, those representing schools, colleges and students for their thoughtful contributions, cooperation and support. Our aim has been to support students to progress to university, college, training or work, so that they can move on in their lives despite the cancellation of exams. This year, the system of calculated grades will provide students with their ticket to do that.

But for that ticket to have the same value as in any other year, it is essential that grades are consistent between schools and colleges and comparable over time. This is why teachers and teaching unions have overwhelmingly supported the use of standardisation when we consulted on this year’s arrangements.

Our standardisation model makes adjustments to teachers’ grades where needed to ensure a level playing field for students at different schools and colleges – in lots of ways, this is no different to what happens every year with teacher-marked course work, it’s just operating at a much larger scale.

Given the importance of getting this right, and working with exam boards, statisticians and assessment experts, we tested 12 different standardisation models and selected the one which was the most accurate and the most fair.

In practice, this means that exam boards will look at the history of grades at the school or college and at the grades that this year’s students have achieved in previous exams. This allows boards to measure how far a school or college has most likely overestimated or underestimated their grades compared to other centres. Some of the reporting of this process has suggested that some grades are being awarded purely on the basis of statistics. This is untrue. No grade is being awarded purely on the basis of statistics. Grades are awarded either wholly on the judgement of teachers or on a combination of teacher judgement and statistics. Where the statistics indicate a school or college has been over-optimistic (or too pessimistic), students are moved up or down according to the teachers’ views as to which pupils were closest to the grade boundary. Adjustments will vary across schools and colleges – and will only be made where the evidence can support it – but a substantial number of students will receive at least one grade that has been adjusted as a result of the moderation process.

Lots of people have asked what would be so wrong with allowing teacher estimate grades to stand. In short, it would have resulted in unfairness between schools and colleges. Also, it would create a perpetual unfairness between this year’s grades compared to past and future generations. There would be young people who would have most likely earned a C in an exam receiving an A-grade. Lastly, it would mean such an increase in the numbers of top grades, that they would no longer be credible, something that has happened in other countries, dealing with the same circumstances.

The approach we are taking is the fairest way to award grades without exams. But we understand that this does nothing to reduce the frustration of students who believe they would have been able to achieve a better grade, if they had had the chance to sit an exam. Also, we recognise that any process of this sort will produce results that need to be reviewed, which is why we have put in place an appeals process.

In our consultation, an overwhelming majority of teachers said that when it comes to appeals, they did not feel it would be right that students should be able to challenge the judgements that their school or college had made about their work. We agree: any appeal would have to be done by someone better placed than teachers to judge a student’s likely grade; in the circumstances this year, we do not believe there is such a person.

However, a student can ask their school to check what they submitted, to check for errors. Schools and colleges can also appeal if they feel that the moderation process has not adequately taken account of changes in the make up of this years’ entry, for example if a school has been taken over and re-organised; or if it can show grades are lower than expected because students this year are very different from past years.

Although the process of moderation is essential to ensure results are as fair as they can be, the truth is that there is nothing fair about the fact that young people this year have been denied the possibility of demonstrating their skills in an exam. For that reason, in designing the moderation system, where we have had to make decisions that would affect the overall results, we have erred on allowing greater leniency. As a result, grades this year will have leniency built in: by around 2 percentage points at A level grade A and above (compared to a slight drop of 1 percentage point in 2019), and by up to 1 percentage point at grade 4 and above at GCSE (compared to a slight increase of 0.5 percentage points in 2019).

Our early analysis shows that students from all backgrounds – including more disadvantaged and black, ethnic minority and Asian communities – have not been disadvantaged by this year’s awarding process. That is reassuring – but it is important that individuals are able to have their complaints heard if they feel they have been discriminated against.

Overall, students will get the best estimate that can be made of the grade they would have achieved if exams had gone ahead. But of course, a system of calculated grades and a statistical model can never know how an individual student might have performed on the day. These are best estimates, and it is possible that some students might have done better (or worse) had they taken an exam, but we will never know.

Colleagues across higher and further education understand this, and many have committed to showing flexibility in their admissions decisions. This will be welcome news for students who are intending to move on to further study in the autumn.

To all students receiving their results, whatever their next step, I wish them well. They have experienced a unique disruption to their lives. We hope that the grades awarded will enable as many as possible to move on with their lives with the least possible difficulty.”

04:28pm: The UK government has now published its positioning statement in full. It is worth noting that this is a political statement (the formal policy document produced by the Civil Service is expected later – the existing “Your Results, What Next” guidance is now outdated by events), and reading this in conjunction with our posts over the last two days. The statement also covers specific grounds of appeal.

“A new ‘triple lock’ process will give young people added security as they receive their grades this year, the Education Secretary has announced.

Students could accept their calculated grade, appeal to receive a valid mock result, or sit autumn exams to ensure the achievements of young people are recognised.

Ofqual has been asked to determine how and when valid mock results can be used to calculate grades.

All outcomes will hold the same value for universities, colleges and employers, building on the significant number of students who will still progress as a result of their calculated grades. Similar arrangements will apply to vocational and technical qualifications.

The move comes as the Government also announces an extensive support package for all schools, colleges and further education providers to run a full exam series in the autumn.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

Every young person waiting for their results wants to know they have been treated fairly. By ensuring students have the safety net of their mock results, as well as the chance of sitting autumn exams, we are creating a triple lock process to ensure confidence and fairness in the system.

No one wanted to cancel exams – they are the best form of assessment, but the disruption caused by Covid-19 meant they were not possible.

This triple lock system will help provide reassurance to students and ensure they are able to progress with the next stage of their lives.

This will provide an additional safety net to the system of calculated grades, which is the fairest possible approach in the absence of exams. The grades students receive on Thursday will be based on the judgement of their school or college, and have been moderated by exam boards to make sure the same standard is applied for all students, whichever school, college or part of the country they come from.

Students who would like to use a valid mock result will be able to do so through the appeals process, with individuals notifying their school or college who will provide evidence of their mock results to their exam board.

As set out by Ofqual last week, schools and colleges will also be able to appeal if they believe their historic data does not reflect the ability of their current students – that may be because they have experienced a recent change in leadership or because they have one or a number of exceptional students.”

 

4:02pm: After a number of questions from parents we can confirm that there is no individual right of appeal to the examination boards. As it stands currently, appeals can only be carried out by schools and the grounds for appeal are limited to:

  • In the relevant subject, the student received a higher grade in their mock examinations than the grade eventually received.
  • The school made an error when submitting its “Centre Assessment Grade” (the teacher’s recommendation of the grade a student should be given) or rank order information to the awarding body – and has evidence to prove this.
  • The awarding body made a mistake by, for example, using the wrong data in calculating the eventual result.

On the basis that in almost every case it is the rank that will decide the result (ie the position the student is ranked against his or her peers in the class), and no school is going to want to upgrade a student at the cost of downgrading another, the only clear avenue of appeal is mock results – if a student sat them and secured a better grade in doing so.

There are mixed messages coming from the examination boards on the grounds for appeal – see comments earlier on day 2. Some of these imply a school may appeal on more general terms on behalf of a student if they believe that the eventual grade awarded was palpably wrong. We would like to think that schools will appeal on behalf of students on that broad basis, and we think this should be the default position where it is critical for a student to receive a ecrtain grade for entry to either Sixth Form or University study. The worse that can happen is the appeal will be rejected.

3:32pm:  We have now received confirmation that schools are now contacting parents giving them the right to request the following information:

  • The grades that were submitted by subject teachers, through their schools, to the exam boards stating what grade they believed each student should be awarded. This is known as the Centre Assessed Grade. We now know that 2 in 5 children will not receive this grade.
  • The “Rank” each child was given in the school from the most talented to least talented in each subject. This ranking is being used by the examination boards to override the recommendations of teachers in conjunction with the performance of schools last year.
  • An explanation of how each student’s rank was determined by teachers.
  • Details of the appeals process.

It would have been very difficult for schools to justify not releasing this information – but releasing it may well cause friction between students, schools and parents. We know of one family that is already planning on removing (two) children from their current school if they believe that the school has treated their child in Year 11 unfairly following tomorrow’s results.

03:14pm: So a brief summary of where we are. Two in five grades will be changed(mostly downgraded) from those recommended by teachers because of an (unpublished) algorithm set by the UK regulator OFQAL. Mock Examination results can now, alternatively, be used to define the final grade students achieve if they are better (following a major U turn by the government this morning), but in our analysis and discussion with teachers this will almost certainly not help the majority of students because of the particular ways Mock Examinations are used by them and conducted – and often very differently between schools. Even if they are used, schools will need to appeal as the regulator has barred appeals by individual students and families, or an automatic increase in grade. The UK government has said that “it apologises to no-one”  for making changes only 24 hours before results day tomorrow. Cambridge International international GCSE and A’ Level students have now received their grades (as of yesterday), but these are likely to be subject to uplift depending on the results mocks achieved by children. Today our schools are being pulled in multiple directions as they trawl through mock examination results so that they can properly advise their students tomorrow of likely grade outcomes.

The only reason, given by OFQAL and the UK government, for not awarding children the results recommended by teachers is because of the calculated “impact of 12% grade inflation.”

This begs the response – so what.

In this, a year in which children have faced extraordinary, historically unparalleled challenges, does it matter – particularly if the price our children will pay is not to be able to study the courses their careers are based on?

02:55pm: Highly recommend this fabulous and erudite article by David James in the TES, written hours before the U-turn announcement that would have only increased the strength of the position he adopts. Because of copyright we can sadly only quote a section of an article we would have liked to reproduce in its entirety.

It takes a particularly misguided genius to make an already impossible system even more stressful. Welcome to A-level results day 2020.

A storm is coming – one that will consume all those involved in schools today.

At the end of it, we could be left with an assessment system short on trust, deep in rancour, and long in appeals and recriminations.

This year’s A-level and GCSE results are going to be unlike any others we have experienced before, and the signs are ominous.

[…]

Now, we are faced with a set of results that have no obvious authors, with nobody willing to accept responsibility for them, coupled with an appeals process that is even more difficult than it was before.

In the five months that have passed between the closure of schools and the publication of A-level and GCSE results, it takes a particular form of misguided genius – wedded more to internal processes and adherence to statistical consistency than fairness and integrity – to make an already impossibly stressful situation worse than it was at the start.

But here we are. Waiting for the rain to come. Let us hope that there is still enough trust, support and energy left in our schools – and with our teachers – to see us through this coming storm.”

The TES can be accessed after registration (no paywall). The article can be found here.

 

02:43pm: The UK government has now confirmed that more than two in every five grades (40%) submitted by teachers will be changed by the time students receive their results tomorrow. The majority of these will see students having their grades reduced by 1 point (A to B, B to C). Historically, schools have asked for a Grade 8 or A grade at GCSE or IGCSE in the subject children wish to study at A Level/Sixth Form. The difference between grades is as significant for children seeking access to courses at university. A single grade point can result in a child losing a place.

We consulted two teachers today to clarify the likely impact of the U turn on mock examinations. In both cases, they explained that they had varied their mock examination grades according to the needs of children by up to one point. For children who were taking high grades for granted, for example, and “coasting” they had both marked harshly and reduced grades in mocks. For hard working children who needed encouragement they had increased results by up to one grade.

Further, after mock examinations, teachers focus on exam practice (by the stage Mock Examinations are taken, in most cases, the main body of teaching for each subject is complete). Exam practice historically can produce up to a two grade increase in the results eventually achieved by children. The minimum expected increase is one grade.

On this basis, in their view, the decision to allow mock examination results to be used as a basis for awarding final grades may not help many children. Mock examinations, based on their combined 41 years of teaching experience, should be improved on my most children by a minimum of one grade and in some cases 3 grades.

02:01pm: Worth noting that today’s event have re-ignited the debate around whether examinations are a reliable way to measure child achievement. Detractors argue that the Coronavirus, Covid 19 pandemic has provided ample justification for re-booting the British education system without exams. Instead they propose grades should be awarded based on teacher’s views of each child’s progress and attainment over time based on a mix of coursework, lesson contributions and assessments throughout the course of study. It has also fired heated debate amongst teachers about how concerned we should be about grade inflation, particularly if it is only this year.

1:59pm: We are being emailed by parents about our coverage tomorrow and whether schools will still release results tomorrow given the chaos surrounding today’s announcement that Mock Examinations may now be used to determine the final results which A’ Level students receive. We know that British curriculum schools across the UAE are today trawling through mock grades achieved by students in all subjects (where mock examinations were actually sat this year – not all schools conducted them) – no small task. Schools are understandably now not sure exactly which results should be published tomorrow – the results produced by examination boards, or those children achieved in mock examinations (although these will only stand after each student, via their school, goes through the Appeals Process.) Given the chaotic, last minute changes being made by governments, schools are also not convinced that there will not be still further changes before tomorrow.

Given all this, many schools are not committing themselves to us on what exactly will happen tomorrow. The last thing they want to do is to publish unreliable examination results and mislead children, through no fault of theirs, about their performance.

As it stands, we do expect some results to filter through to us from early tomorrow morning – but nothing is certain and schools are asking us to qualify their stated overall results “as subject to appeal.”

Our Day Three live coverage of what will be the most important day of the year for many students across the UAE starts at 8:00am tomorrow sharp.

Given today’s events, expect the unexpected.

1:25pm: Really good summative quote from a teacher quoted in today’s Guardian live blog that sets up perfectly how students, schools and teachers are now uniting against a system that is rejecting the needs, wishes and experience of both:

“The government seem determined to ignore the incredibly detailed and thorough work teachers did in submitting centre assessed grades.

I note that Scotland has come round to accepting our professional judgement and I implore the government to abandon this unfair and unworkable shoddy compromise and instead reinstate the professional judgement of teachers.”

Will the government listen less than 24 hours before tomorrow’s results?

1:17pm: Ofqal statement yesterday supporting claims that the grade disparity should be no more than one grade:

“We know teachers worked extremely hard to deliver this year’s arrangements and the vast majority tried their professional best to submit accurate judgements. We expect the overwhelming majority of the grades awarded this week to be within one grade of the centre assessment grades submitted by teachers.

Overall, students will get the best estimate of the grade they would have achieved if exams had gone ahead. Schools and colleges can appeal if they believe there has been an error or that the moderation process has not produced a reliable result.”

Worth noting (1) that OFQAL has not officially responded to today’s U-turn by the British Government; (2) the extraordinary implication that a minority of teachers did not try their professional best to submit accurate judgements; and (3) that schools can appeal if the moderation process has not produced a “reliable result” with no qualifications on the grounds of appeal. By inference, Ofqal were already preparing themselves for schools to appeal every result diverging from their recommendations, begging the question why we needed “The Algorithm” in the first place.

1:06pm: Kate Green, UK’s Shadow Education Secretary on the BBC:

“This is now becoming a really chaotic situation and very, very worrying for students [only] the day before they’re due to get their results [to] find the system changing again.

What we’ve now got is a system which clearly is not fit for purpose.”

 

12:59pm: No comment yet from Cambridge International on how they will respond to today’s announcement from the UK government. Cambridge International released International GCSE and International A’ Level results yesterday and now students face limbo, and schools chaos (as they are inundated with calls from worried parents), not knowing officially whether they can now revise already sent results on the basis of mock examinations. We have approached Cambridge International for comment. 

12:51pm: UK government standing firm (for now…) when asked if they should apologise for making an announcement 24 hours before A-level results are due:

“There is no confusion.

We have been very clear from the very beginning. We had to have a system in place to award qualifications to young people given that we had cancelled the exams.”

Nick Gibb. Minister of State. UK Department of Education.

12:39pm: In the interests of completeness, the full quote referred to earlier in our coverage from Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, follows

“The idea of introducing at the eleventh hour a system in which mock exam results trump calculated grades beggars belief. The government doesn’t appear to understand how mock exams work. They aren’t a set of exams which all conform to the same standards. The clue is in the name ‘mock’. And some students will not have taken them by the time that schools were closed in March. So, this immediately creates the potential for massive inconsistency.

“Schools and colleges have spent months diligently following detailed guidance to produce centre-assessed grades only to find they might as well not have bothered.

There is certainly concern about the standardisation process applied by the exam boards, but there are also good reasons for having this system in place because it ensures that this year’s grades are roughly in line with those of previous years, and this is important in terms of fairness to students over time.

If the government wanted to change the system it should have spent at least a few days discussing the options rather than rushing out a panicked and chaotic response.

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders

We think that the “good reasons” element of the quote needs to be unpicked, but, again, the basic point that mock exams are not reliable is a widely shared one, this on the basis of consistent (and rightfully in our view “frustrated”) feedback we have received from UAE schools.

12:22pm: Nick Ferrari does a good job dismantling the mess inflicted on our students by the British government (“Nick Ferrari incredulous as Schools Minister awards himself an A-minus”). Here the government admits that children are being downgraded only to avoid grade inflation – whatever the cost. Full (3 minute) video here.

12:15pm: Another thank you, this time to Michael Bloy, Secondary Head Teacher at Kings’ School Al Barsha, who joins our debate with a strong intervention on why government’s are harming children by not listening to those who know children best. It is clear to all of us at SchoolsCompared.com, that schools across the UAE have been fighting tooth and nail for their students and parent’s upset must be directed not at schools but at a system whose responsibility ultimately succeeds or fails at the behest of the British government.

“While we welcome the fact that the UK Government is listening and has taken a bold step to use teacher judgements to ensure all of our children get the results they deserve, the move in using student’s their mock examination results as their final grade is flawed.

Schools approach mock examinations in different ways, at different times, and for different purposes meaning, while a positive step for all of our children’s futures, using the mock grades is not a standardised or equitable approach.

I fear this approach will ultimately still leave question marks over the grades of students going forward, which ultimately could have been avoided with greater dialogue with education professionals in the first instance.

Michael Bloy. Secondary Head Teacher. Kings’ School Al Barsha. 
Our independent review of Kings’ School Al Barsha can be found here.

12:02pm: Thank you to Simon Corns, Principal of Brighton College Abu Dhabi, who joins our debate again this morning with a damning indictment of the way students are being treated across UAE schools following the decision by the British government to U-turn on the way this year’s A Level results are being decided:

We are shocked that major decisions affecting the lives of our young people are being taken at such a late stage, but we would take some solace from it if the decisions made any sense.

As it is, to suggest that we use mock results when, at Brighton College Abu Dhabi, we routinely add a whole grade between the mocks and the examinations, is little short of preposterous.

We will be fighting hard for every grade that we believe our pupils deserve.

If only the Boards felt they could trust schools on these matters.

Fortunately for us, historical data have been consistently outstanding but this is really tough on schools that may have had an exceptionally strong cohort this year and, for all of us, the broad results mask the tragedy of individuals whose results have been lowered without any consideration of evidence of their work.

Simon Corms. Principal. Brighton College Abu Dhabi. 

Our independent review of Brighton College Abu Dhabi can be found here.

12:00pm: Still no coverage from our leading broadsheets, The National, Gulf News and Khaleej Times, on the announcement this morning affecting thousands of children in the UAE’s British Curriculum Schools.

11:52am: Thank you to Simon O’Connor, the new Director at Deira International School, for joining our Day Two of our Exams Week 2020 coverage.

“It was very surprising to see the announcement this morning.
Exam systems rely on consistency and confidence – and there seems to be a lot of last minute rethinking at the moment which undermines both.
It is really important that every student’s work is recognised in a fair and accurate way.
I don’t think we’re there yet.
Simon O’ Connor. Director. Deira International School.
Our independent review of Deira International School in Dubai Festival City can be found here.

11:47am: You can find the BBC’s lead story on the examination U-turn by the British government between 1:15 and 6:25 below.

11:36am: Thank you to Simon Jodrell, Principal of Dubai British School, for joining the debate this morning. Simon is immersed in managing the impact of the U-turn announcement in helping his worried students and families and his intervention is appreciated:

“The announcement of grades in Scotland and the subsequent u-turn, alongside the announcement by Gavin Williamson, Minister for Education, that ‘mock’ grades can be used to gain entry into University if students are unhappy with actual grades given shows a disregard for Schools’, teacher’s professional judgement and the internal systems used to health check provided examination results.

In such an uncertain period of time, and to not disadvantage students, trust needs to be given to those who know their students the best, the Schools themselves.

Simon Jodrell. Principal. Dubai British School. Emirates Hills.

Our independent review of Dubai British School Emirates Hills can be found here.

11: 25am: Exclusive. Thank you to John Nolan, Principal of Sharjah English School for taking time out to join our debate and support worried families and students:

“When you log on to an examination board website for students’ results and you are greeted with a notice that says ‘Due to ongoing Enquiries About Results, these grades may be raised or lowered’ it does not fill you with confidence.

Students, who have already suffered tremendously, are now being put through a further ridiculous stressful process of their grades still being clouded in uncertainty.

The A Level students of 2020 have been heroic; they have been seriously let down by the system and by political leaders.

It’s simply unacceptable.”

John Nolan. Principal. Sharjah English School

Our independent review of Sharjah English School can be found here.

11:15am: Consensus is growing that most students are likely, if impacted, to have suffered a reduction of one clear grade point in their results. Universities behind the scenes are being instructed to allow this deviation, at least, when deciding whether to accept students for entry to their chosen courses. Our view is that universities need to act on this now. If universities play ball it will allow students, their schools and families a way to avoid the (completely unnecessary) further worry and instability of having to go through the appeals process.

11:13am: Sky News editorial verdict on the government U-turn on A Level results to allow mocks to be used if higher than “The Algorithm” used by Ofqal: “It’s come late and it is not clear how this will be implemented in schools.”

11:10am: Another take on the announcement this morning (more information below from our Day Two coverage of this year’s Results Week), this time from Metro journalists. They capture the issue well in this paragraph:

“Exam boards have moderated grades for students in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to ensure this year’s results are not significantly higher than previous years. But many raised concerns that the grades would not be representative of what students could have achieved, saying exam boards should trust teachers to make the call.”

Full article here.

11:00am: Thank you to Matthew Tompkins, Chief Executive Officer of GEMS FirstPoint School in Dubai for taking valuable time out to speak to our readers about the U-turn on A Level results announced this morning by the UK government:

“It’s hugely disheartening to read this morning that decisions on young people’s grades, and therefore their futures, are still not finalised. The students of GEMS FirstPoint, and all of the other schools across the world, will have worked so hard to achieve at the highest level.

They deserve a fair outcome that reflects their quality and effort.

Matthew Tompkins

Principal / CEO”

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Our 2020 independent review of GEMS FirstPoint School in Dubai can be found here.

10:57am: Video discussing the U-turn to allow the use of Mock Examinations to determine a student’s final grade at A’ Level from Sky News, with initial responses to the announcement (“Mocks – the clue is in the name”):

10:49am: Here is the video clip of Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, announcing the U-turn on Scottish A Level results, widely credited as giving impetus on the UK government’s decision (U-turn) today.

10:39am: Sky News live interview with UK government opposition spokesman Kate Green: “Not all students sat mock examinations and they were all sat differently. There is a major new issue now with standardisation. We must now recognise the exceptionally difficult circumstances students have faced this year. Our big concern tomorrow is that there is no individual right of student appeal and this needs to be introduced urgently. The original standardisation model being used by OFQAL has not even been published and this itself needs to be interrogated.”

Whatever the outcome in the next few days, as we argued in Day One of our live blog, UAE schools need to be generous with the requirements for entrance to Sixth Form – and universities must think extremely carefully in refusing students places on their courses based on their approved final results this year.

10:27am First official comment now in from schools. Thank you to Brendan Fulton of Dubai British School Jumeirah Park who brought us in before the 10:30am deadline. We know that his team are working around the clock to help their students.

“Whilst really disappointing that the unnecessarily complicated, and sometimes unfair, process with the Exam Boards has put schools and students in this position, I am pleased that the UK government have pre-empted any fallout with this last minute announcement. I feel for the students who have missed out on the exam process and now will feel that they have no control over their final grades.”

Brendan Fulton. Principal. Dubai British School Jumeirah Park

Our independent review of Dubai British School Jumeirah Park can be found here,.

10:17am: Further clarification for parents contacting us: students, as it stands currently, will still have to go through the appeals process to use their mock exam result, with their school required to submit evidence to the exam board.

10:09am: Whilst we wait for comments from schools, an interesting podcast from LBC that captures an earlier stage of the discussion well here. Stating the obvious, the only way to accurately know the grades students would receive in an examination is for them to have sat the examination. Every other way of producing a result  is fraught with difficulties and many thousands of students will not get the results that reflect their ability (if examinations ever did that …)

10:01am: Just in from our sister site, WhichSchoolAdvisor.com, their explanation of the new reality facing children this morning. No comments yet at all from our broadsheets which need to wake up.

Full story, here.

09:55am: First comments from schools responding to the U-turn on examination results now expected at 10:30am.

09:37am: To clarify the issue for three parents who have now contacted us, the plan was for results to be based on a statistical model (now known as “The Algorithm”) which required schools to their rank students in order of best to worst in each subject and produce data showing the grades achieved by the (unrelated) previous year’s students. The best and worst grades would then be “divvied up” proportionately. This of course set off alarm bells in the majority of schools because it simply does not work. Whilst schools were also required to produce a predicted grade for each student, based on their mock exams, tests, coursework and homework, this was generally ignored except in a vast minority of cases where, for example, new schools had no previous data on which to “divvy up” the grades. The only reason given for not accepting the recommended grades of teachers was that it would devalue the exams system because teacher’s would give higher grades “than they should” (based on the fact that we cannot have lots of children getting high grades even if they deserve them). The current situation is that Scotland has now caved in, rightly in our view, by listening to schools and giving the results decided by the teachers who know children best, whilst the UK government is stonewalling. It has, as of this morning, moved to now allowing students to choose the results of mock examinations if they are higher than those produced by The Algorithm – but this helps far less children than it should. Many children did not sit mocks – and those children that did, did not do so on the basis that they would be the final arbiter of the grades they would achieve in their examinations.

08:29am: We think that this quote from Dr Tony Breslin, a former chief examiner, captures why the “writing is on the wall” for Ofqual, the exam regulator, to change its stance on teachers’ predictions:

“The worst outcome of this is for a number of young people, who have had their education interrupted in all kinds of ways, is that they will get slightly better grades this year. Is that really a problem?”

The problem, of course, is that whilst lobbying to the 11th hour (as every single school we have spoken to is doing) to get the British government to move the final step and allow school to determine grades to help students, we are also inflicting on them yet more instability and upset.

09:10am: UK’s Daily Telegraph (paywalled) summarises the pressure growing for the UK government to follow the complete U-turn made by the Scottish government and accept the recommended grades of teachers (“Government urged to honour teachers’ predicted grades to stop A-Level results from becoming a ‘lottery'”). The article, by Camilla Turner, Education Editor for the Telegraph, makes an exceptionally powerful case built around the fact that “results for students who are in the middle of their class, even with the new U-turn to allow mock grades, will be“largely a matter of luck”. Given that on current calculations we are looking at (“””only”””) 20% of students seeing their grades upgraded, it does look increasingly churlish for the government not to listen to the teachers who know their children best. If you can access the Telegraph, the link is here. Put another way, to supposedly “protect the integrity of the examination system” (which surely now makes absolutely no sense in the new land of U-turns) the current system is deliberately harming the life chances of 20% of students.

09:02am: 

08:51am: As noted yesterday, Cambridge International, the exam board for IGCSEs and International A levels, revealed that nearly half of all grades given by teachers this year were changed (“ignored”) during the moderation process, with the vast majority moderated downwards. The rationale? To maintain the integrity of results. Stated differently: we cannot have all children receiving top grades as no one will take the examinations seriously. As we have argued, the premise of this rationale is deeply flawed and students are paying the price. We have contacted Cambridge International for confirmation that they will now, at least, concede that students can opt to choose the results of mock examinations if they better the algorithmic results delivered yesterday. It is hard to imagine the pain that this is causing to students. Worth noting that analysis by Cambridge yesterday found that if teacher-assessed grades had been awarded, the proportion of international A level grades awarded A* would have doubled to around 20 per cent. It will be interesting to seeing how accepting mock results will change the proportion, if at all. As noted earlier, not all schools even sat mocks – and mock examinations were never designed to reflect a student’s final performance.

08:40am: Mark Ford, Principal of the English College Dubai on the impact of Distance Learning on GCSE and A’ Levels:

Our independent review of The English College Dubai can be found here.

08:35am: In response to emails, yes, local coverage of the major U-turn will come later when our local media “wakes up”! We are already in discussion with schools, but it is fair to say that they are reeling from the new decision and, quite rightly, will not be making comments until they have communicated with parents and students first. Bottom line – schools have been extremely concerned about their students and for many today’s announcement will be welcome in enabling them to at least partially help many children who would otherwise have received results that would have downgraded the school’s own recommended grades. Sadly, today’s announcement will only help schools in which children sat for mick examinations. Also worth noting that we are awaiting confirmation from all the examination boards that they will follow suit.

08:29am: For those of you joining us, the headline news is that the British government has pulled an extraordinary U turn on the way examination results are calculated. It needed to be done, does not go far enough, but at least something has been done. Thousands of students will benefit. Thousands will not. Another take on the story by Sky News (“A-level students in England can [now also] use mock results to get into university”) here.

08:10am: Typical Daily Mail take on the U-turn (“Pick your OWN results: Government rips up exam system to give pupils ‘triple lock’ on grades in extraordinary new plan unveiled just ONE day before A-levels are announced – following fiasco over Scottish Highers.”) but one which captures the whole fiasco leading to the collapsing house of cards very well here.

08:05am: Worth repeating yesterday’s “Day One” of our coverage post (scroll down for all of yesterday’s stories) published at 08:38 am which explained why the algorithm approach was so flawed and the claim that teacher’s had a voice in the results our children were to receive was largely spurious. “First rate analysis by independent think tank HEPI on why “as has been suspected for some months, teacher assessments of grades are largely irrelevant. The only thing that counts is the ranking.” They continue: “Ofqal have represented the approach as being based on ‘teachers’ assessment of grades’, when it is not.”. There is clarification that the appeal process is technical not individual, this “flying in the face of natural justice.” Net result: “if system integrity damages the life chances of individuals, then it is not much of a system.” Complete story here.

07:58am: What a Day. We knew it was coming – and it could not have happened any more powerfully with the British government announcing a major U-turn on examination results.

British government U turn on A Level exam results exclusive

Despite insisting there would be * read my lips * no U turn, now the government has instructed examination boards to allow students to use the results of their mock examinations as an alternative to the results awarded by the exam boards statistical algorithms. Essentially every student can now choose between whichever gives the better result. As long ago as March we tackled this issue in a rare “Letter from the Editor” here. Today’s news will help many children – but it will not help thousands (and thousands) of others. Our first thought in March was that every child should be awarded top grades. There was much to recommend this course of action. Surely, in the year of Covid 19 – a pandemic that has ripped through the world utterly transforming every part of our lives and leaving all of us knowing at least one person dead, this was the time to avoid our children paying any sort of price for a piece of paper that, wrongly, inevitably sets up their future. We discounted that solution then in favour of a new grade, unique to the Covid generation, that would set this generation of children apart – together. Our basic premise was that it was impossible to define any sort of fair grade. Instead the government and exam boards, in their wisdom, decided to trample rough shod over empowering teachers to make the decision (surely it is our teachers who are those who know our children best and have all their best interests at heart), instead deciding the decision should be made by a computer. The reality of the algorithms was that teacher’s views were to be ignored and results based on those of last year’s children’s results. Children would be placed in rank order, regardless of whether it made sense, and results awarded on the basis of how well the school had achieved in previous years. This made no sense. None of us wanted to say it. None of us wanted to say anything to take away anything from this amazing generation of children who have faced impossible odds that no generation of children have faced. They are all extraordinary by definition. But let’s say it. This makes no sense. And, sadly today, not does giving a choice of grades with the results of mock examinations for many, many children. Many children did not even sit mock examinations as the UK government advised many schools to not even set them …

This week the Scottish government took the only half decent alternative course of action in the first U turn of the week. They ripped up the algorithms and gave voice to the recommendations of teachers. This is what the British government, in our view, should have done. More on the radically new world our Covid generation of students are waking up to can be found here.

08:01am: We are going to have many stories on the A Levls exam U-turn today. Here is the BBC version of the story which defines the new reality faced by children as a triple lock, with students being able to choose from the better of mock examinations, the original exam board algorithm or taking written examinations in the Autumn. Full story here.

 

 

 

 

 

Day One. Background – Results Week LIVE! GCSE, A Level and BTEC Results. 11 – 20 August 2020. 

Scroll down for all Day One developments and background …..

Covid 19 has had many impacts across society, but in education these may well be on a scale that parents, students and schools will still be grappling with in years to come. Arguably, if the current decision to calculate exam grades based on student coursework, the historic success (or otherwise) of schools in previous years stands and (primarily if not exclusively in all cases) a student’s ranking against their peers, a generation of children this year will not get the grades they deserve.

Of course, without exams, no child was ever going to have had the certainty of knowing what grades they would have achieved if they has sat them. It was never going to be possible. But surely we should have left the decision of what grades to award children to teachers. In a small number of cases there would have been errors – but we now know that the main fallout this year will be from exam bodies ignoring schools and downgrading the grades given by schools and teachers that know our children best. 

The 2020 Covid generation of children will, not least, have been guinea pigs in a trial of Distance Learning years before its time, and have had exam results thrust upon them calculated, not on the basis of exams, or even planned coursework, but a last minute fudge of yesterday’s statistics, coursework and mock exams that were never supposed to be the basis for such life changing verdicts.

The fall-out from the IB results remain unresolved, even now. And for children waiting for English National Curriculum results in GCSE, IGCSE, A’ Level and BTEC, starting today, the chances of any sort of positive outcome, for many children, looks set to be dashed by Scottish results this week that have been shown to have failed swathes of children – and now led to a promise by the Scottish government to re-look, yet again, at the way results have been decided.

In our live blog, over the next week, we will pull together the stories from schools in the UAE and further afield that will shape outcomes for a generation of children that, in our view, all deserve to be celebrated.

Fortunately, we expect many schools in the UAE to have stellar results, this in no small part because of a system that will weight the success of schools in previous years. The quality of schools and teaching in the UAE, taken as a whole, is of an exceptionally high standard by any global comparison. UAE schools have, for many years, set the benchmark exceptionally high in consistently matching, and overtaking, in examination outcomes for students, some of the best British curriculum schools in the UK and globally.

But we also know that many children will also receive lower results than those they are entitled to because of the statistical downgrading that is being carried out to “protect” the credibility of the exams system at any cost to children – against the express wishes of schools and teachers in the UAE. We know that teachers are going to have their recommendations for the grades our children should receive lowered – not because our students do not deserve the grades recommended by their teachers – but to protect a system that in our view does not need protecting.

The end result is that many of our children will be disappointed.

We hope in the following days to guide children and families in the process of appeals, celebrate the success of our students and schools – and provide a strong case that every student this year, whatever their outcomes in exam results, deserves credit and praise for all that have achieved against the impossible odds thrown up by Covid 19. Every student this year deserves to be celebrated. They have all faced a challenge that no child in the history of British education before them has experienced or survived. 

We know that every school we have spoken to is fighting tooth and nail to ensure that no student is disadvantaged this year. For students who are frustrated by their results, we do believe that it is not our schools that should be held responsible. We also know that schools are already set up to access the appeals process on their behalf – vital because students and their families have no individual right of appeal at all.

Nothing is certain this year – except that, whatever results are awarded, every student deserves to feel very proud of their achievements. It may not have been planned, but they are all pioneers in a transformed and transforming educational landscape being shaped by their experiences and contributions in ways no student, school or parent could have imagined even six months ago.

If this means in practice that no school should be refusing children the right to continue, at their chosen school, to study for their planned Sixth Form studies, or that universities accept all students to their proposed degree level courses, then so be it. Anything else would seem significantly worse than churlish.

5:03pm: And that’s a wrap from Day One of our rolling coverage covering the first day of exam week and the build up to the flood of announcements from schools later this week. We are still picking up stories through the night. Send your results news, photos, feedback and comments to eimearmckennasingh@schoolscompared.com. We will endeavour to report on all stories submitted…

4:39pm: Exclusive. 2020 results build-up. Head Master, Mr Simon Corns, Brighton College Abu Dhabi, ahead of this week’s A Level results being released, told SchoolsCompared.com:

We are particularly conscious this time of how difficult it has been for pupils, staff and indeed the examination boards to operate a system in the absence of formal examinations. We were rigorous in our assessments and very much hope that Brighton College pupils gain the excellent results they richly deserve on Thursday, in line with previous outstanding performances.

We wish them every success, both now and for what will be a rosy future for them at university and beyond.’

Our independent review of Brighton College Abu Dhabi can be found here.

3:36pm: Ofqal guidance in full. This is long, complex and UK-centric, but holds critical information for parents. This is just one example that throws light on why decisions have been made:

“[We are not allowing individual appeals from students or their parents.] Because of the role of the rank order in grading this year, such an appeal would have implications for other students in the cohort: if one student successfully appealed against their position in the rank order, it would have negative implications for other students who would, in turn, need to be given an opportunity to appeal.”

Ofqal Summer_2020_grades_for_GCSE_AS_and_A_level_110820

 

3:24pm: JESS Dubai has announced the results of its second year of BTEC exams which have shown a further increase in results with graduates taking either a BTEC in Art & Design, Sports & Sports Science and Business Studies. “JESS students smashed it!” Here are the highlights.

2020 BTEC Highlights Summary:

  • 7 students enrolled across the 3 courses
  • Average overall result – D*D*D
  • 100% pass rate
  • Five students achieving the highest possible D*D*D* grade
  • 100% of students received their first choice university destination

Our independent review of JESS Dubai can be found here.

3:13pm: Exclusive. Anthony Moran, Head of Computing at the English College, Dubai goes live and on the record with SchoolsCompared.com on this year’s results.

More on The English College Dubai here.

01:44pm: Universities told that they must hold places for students appealing A-level grades until the outcome is decided as pupils who are downgraded face missing out on university places while exam boards sift through “flood” of appeals. The eleventh hour move by the UK government is in response to claims that the “university places of thousands of pupils […] are in peril amid exam chaos.”

 

01:07pm: The BBC has published examples of reasons schools can use to appeal results:

  • Evidence they were expecting different results because they have an exceptional group of students this year;
  • Past results were distorted by a “monumental event”, such as a flood or fire;
  • The school has changed from a single-sex school to a mixed one.

Our view is that schools, based on its having exceptional students, should be comfortable appealing grades when they believe that there is a case to do so – and the exam boards should play ball. Because there is no direct appeals process for parents, they will need to contact schools to pursue an appeal.

More here.

12:43pm: Delighted students at GEMS FirstPoint School in Dubai receive their results:

“Love days like this! Celebrating success – smiling students at GEMS FirsPoint in Dubai, delighted parents and proud teachers. Fantastic IGCSE and Cambridge A Level results today, with a third of students receiving the highest grade of A or A* in English! Well done to all our students and staff for their hard work and perseverance during this particularly challenging exam period.
#GEMSEducation #FPSEducation #ExamSuccess #WellDone #IGCSE2020”

12:28pm: Clarification for parents. We have been asked to explain when exam results will be published for different schools, not an easy task given the variety of examinations and boards. The basic position is that today will see results released for both International A’ Levels (IA) and International GCSEs (IGCSEs). Whilst many schools do offer students only IA Level and IGCSE exam entries, many also offer a mix of both IA, IGCSE and GCSE. To our knowledge no school offers a mix of IA and A Levels. IA and A Levels results should be released together this Thursday (13th August) to students.” Many thanks to Lyn Soppelsa for this clarification.

 

12:20pm: Whilst UK-centric, interesting analysis by ffteducationdatalab on the universal difficulty faced by teachers in predicting grades this year in British curriculum schools:

“It’s worth taking a moment to consider the difficulty of the task that schools had, and think about why their proposed grades were higher than those awarded last year.

First, in terms of difficulty, teachers were being asked to form an assessment of the level of attainment that each child had reached – taking into account evidence from a range of sources, but done at a time when schooling has been significantly disrupted.

Lest we forget, 9-1 grades for GCSEs also haven’t been around for that many years yet. In some subjects, teachers only have one year of past results to go on. All other things being equal, you would expect the second cohort of pupils taking a qualification to do a bit better than last year’s, as teachers have an extra year of experience under their belts. An approach called comparable outcomes is normally applied to exam results to account for this, but that won’t have been factored in to the proposed grades that schools have come up with.

It’s also much easier to distinguish between two pupils using marks from an exam. As a thought experiment, imagine two pupils thought to be on the 5/4 boundary who have produced a similar quality of work at school. It would be unfair for the teacher to give one a 5 and the other a 4 – but an exam would rule definitively on the matter, for better or worse.

All things said and done, then, schools have had an incredibly difficult task – albeit one matched in difficulty by that now facing the exam boards and Ofqual.”

More here.

12:09pm: Cambridge International confirms that “The statistical standardisation exercise will mean that the grade we award to a candidate may or may not be the same as the predicted grade that they have provided.”

Cambridge International 592001-explaining-our-statistical-standardisation-process-in-more-detail

 

12:03pm: Informative video from Cambridge International explaining how results are being decided this year –

 

11:45am: official Press Information from Cambridge International released with specific call-out to UAE schools and students –

In a year like no other, Cambridge International released the results of its June 2020 series on time, to thousands of schools around the world today. Altogether more than 950,000 grades were issued, to almost 4,000 schools in 139 countries.

In the United Arab Emirates this year the most popular Cambridge IGCSE subjects are Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry and the most popular Cambridge International AS & A Level subjects are Physics, Chemistry, and Biology.

Globally, the most popular Cambridge International AS & A Levels this year are English (General Paper), maths and physics. The most popular Cambridge IGCSEs are maths (without coursework), First Language English (oral endorsement) and physics.

Christine Özden, Chief Executive, Cambridge International, said: “In a unique situation Cambridge International had to respond quickly so that our global community of Cambridge students stayed safe, but could progress with their education. A key priority was to ensure Cambridge students received grades that are trusted by employers and universities around the world.

“Our process for awarding assessed grades is built on best practice from the UK and adapted to ensure it works across the many different countries we work in.

“I would like to thank our schools and teachers for the huge amount of effort they put into supporting our awarding process for the June 2020 series, which has enabled us to provide students with reliable and trusted grades this year.

“I hope our students around the world, can now move forward with their lives, and have come through this experience stronger and more resilient, after what has been a very challenging time for everyone.”

This year Cambridge International took the decision not to hold exams for its global June 2020 series. Instead, we engaged with education authorities, governments and schools around the world to develop a robust process for awarding students with assessed grades.

Our awarding process combined teacher insights with a rigorous standardisation process. This ensured grades issued for June 2020 would be fair and reliable and accepted by universities and employers globally, in the same way as any other year.  Our awarding method is robust, clear and available on our website.

Universities have confirmed they are happy with the method used to determine assessed grades this year and have said they will be flexible, to help as many students as possible to progress with their educational journeys.”

11:40 am: attention is inevitably also on next year’s GCSE and A’ Level examinations as the fallout from Covid 19 continues. It is now confirmed that GCSE students taking English literature exams next summer will no longer have to cover all of the topics in the curriculum and pupils sitting their history and ancient history GCSEs next summer will be offered a greater choice of subjects at examination.

In Literature this has led to outrage that not all students will study poetry. School leaders have asked for the 2021 summer exams to be delayed into June to allow for more teaching time following the disruption caused by the pandemic. More on the outcry over the impact of changes to the curriculum this year in just one subject here.

11:15 am:

“A huge well done to all our students on their exceptional iGCSE and Cambridge A Level results today. We are thrilled with the results, and very proud of our students and staff for their hard work and perseverance during this particularly challenging exam period. Special congratulations go to our English IGCSE students, a third of whom have achieved the highest grade of an A or A*. which is a fantastic achievement and a credit to the students and the staff.”

Matthew Tompkins

Principal / CEO

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Our independent review of GEMS FirstPoint School in Dubai can be found here.

10:29 am English College Dubai supporting view that Distance Learning has been a positive experience in build up to results day:

“Google Classroom was an invaluable resource allowing students access to all needed resources. Uploading their work meant that work could regularly be marked. Students often typed their answers but at the same also had to handwrite and take photos of it to ensure they are not losing their handwriting skills needed for the exams.

All students had access to PowerPoints, exam questions, worksheet etc.

Our students were amazing and attended all their scheduled online classes.

The last months were very important for teachers and students as we are exams based. We start exam preparation very early to ensure that our students are very well prepared to take part in the exams, this also includes exam practice in the final weeks leading to the exams. In overall I am very proud of how my students engaged online and how motivated they were despite the challenging circumstances.”

Jill Duncan. Head of Business & Economics. English College Dubai. 

More on The English College Dubai here.

10:07 am Sister site WhichSchoolAdvisor.com has an interesting report on parent’s views on whether distance learning should continue – and whether schools should re-open at all in September. Be interesting to see whether the results this year change perceptions.

More here.

 


© SchoolsCompared.com 2020. All rights reserved.

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Send your exam news, photos, feedback and comments to jonathanwestley@schoolscompared.com. We will endeavour to report on all stories submitted…

Earlier posts …

8:00 am: 08:00 am: GCSE results announced today…

8:02 am: timetable of announcements for the week ahead …

  • 11 August 2020 – Cambridge IGCSE, O Level and International AS & A Level results will be released to schools on 11 August at 06:00 (BST) (05:00 UTC/GMT). Schools can issue these results to candidates immediately.
  • 12 August 2020 – Cambridge Pre-U results will be released to schools on Wednesday 12 August at 00.01 BST (23.01 UTC/GMT Tuesday 11 August).
  • 13 August (08:00 BST) England, Wales and Northern Ireland’s A-level and AS-level results and A-level equivalent technical qualifications like BTECs and Cambridge Technicals.
  • Pearson AS and A Level results released to students on 13 August 2020.
  • 20 August – GCSE results in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and GCSE equivalent technical qualifications
  • 20 August 2020 – Pearson GCSE and International GCSE released to students on 20 August 2020

8:05 am: Excellent video by Pearson explaining how the system works this year:

8:11 am: English College Dubai feedback –

The Computing Department would like to thank every single A Level Computer Science student for their hard work and outstanding attitude displayed throughout the full duration of the course. The course itself is known for its wide range of content and having now completed it, students have developed an excellent base knowledge of everything Computer Science, which will contribute towards a wide range of career paths. As a department we have spent countless hours generating and sourcing resources which have given students an extensive coverage of all topics on the subject specification. Challenged with being the first group to attempt the NEA wasn’t easy, however all students managed to analyse and design industry worthy programmes. Working remotely, students’ attendance and application remained excellent and this is a credit to all.

As we approach the results day, our students should be very proud of their accomplishments and use this experience to fuel their motivation to be even more successful in the future.

Anthony Moran. Head of Computing. English College Dubai. Results Week 2020.

More on The English College Dubai here.

08:17 am: The UK’s Guardian newspaper is reporting that this year’s A’ Level results are likely to be a “mess” with up to 39% of teacher’s predictions ignored. This follows comments by former head of Ofsted Sir Michael Wilshaw who describes the system used this year to statistically determine results “grossly unfair”. More here.

08:25 am: UK Press is reporting on mounting pressure from UK government on universities to accept students following comments by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson: “… today we are asking universities to do their part to ensure every young person can progress to the destination they deserve.”

08:38 am: First rate analysis by independent think tank HEPI on why “as has been suspected for some months, teacher assessments of grades are largely irrelevant. The only thing that counts is the ranking.” They continue: “Ofqal have represented the approach as being based on ‘teachers’ assessment of grades’, when it is not.”. There is clarification that the appeal process is technical not individual, this “flying in the face of natural justice.” Net result: “if system integrity damages the life chances of individuals, then it is not much of a system.” Complete story here.

08:42 am: More in from The English College Dubai on BTEC results due later this week:

“The BTEC faculty have prepared for students to achieve their results as normal in many ways. Students and teachers alike have worked extremely hard to learn, not only content but also skills, despite the very different learning environment they were in. Students should be immensely proud of themselves for completing such a practical qualification with resilience and perseverance in such a challenging time, and should look forward with nothing but excitement for what is to come after finishing their qualifications. After a different and challenging year, our BTEC teachers are taking forward the knowledge that our students can do anything they can set their minds to.

Sarah Braban. Head of Travel & BTEC Coordinator. The English College Dubai.

More on The English College Dubai here.

08:52 am: Comments by Scottish Prime Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, are being widely quoted to herald the chaos expected in the results from UK curriculum schools worldwide.  “We thought too much about the overall system and not enough about the individual pupil […] That has meant that too many have lost out on grades that they think they should have had and also that that has happened as a result of not of anything they’ve done but because of a statistical model or an algorithm, and in addition that burden has not fallen equally across our society. Despite our best intentions, I do acknowledge we did not get this right and I’m sorry …”

09:00 am: Khaleej Times reporting that “Statistical model will ensure fair grades: UAE schools tell GCSE, A-Level students.” We are not convinced, based on extensive feedback from schools to SchoolsCompared.com and WhichSchoolAdvisor.com, that this accurately describes the views of UAE schools at all.

More on this here. Why this viewpoint is untenable can be explained best by our post at 08:38 am. Whilst UAE students will be to some degree immunised because of prior school performance, the system for producing grades is inherently flawed. Given the failures of governments and exam boards thus far to resolve issues, we think it is likely that it will fall to schools and universities to ensure that no student is impacted by the fallout by broadening course acceptance criteria for Sixth Form and University entry.

09:12am: Good School Guide has excellent advice for parents – and schools …

  • Challenge decisions. If your child’s results fall short of the entry requirements for sixth form, but you feel that they would still thrive if allowed to stay on, ask the school to be lenient in light of this year’s circumstances. Who knows what might have been pulled off had they sat the real exam? We urge schools to be sensible and consider each student’s case on its own merits.

  • Expect school to fight your corner. This is where heads of year 11, sixth form and careers need to really show their mettle. Universities or selective sixth forms could withhold a place due to an unexpected bad grade but there may be a reason for a low result that your child’s current school can use to explain the anomaly and you should demand that they do so. In certain situations, the modelling used by Ofqual will throw up surprises. With unpopular or new subjects, when a school has dramatically improved standards in the last year or two, or where there has always been a tiny number of candidates with varying levels of attainment, there might not be the data to produce fair grades. Ofqual acknowledges that some students may have achieved higher grades had they sat the exams as planned.”

More here.

09:19 am: More from The English College Dubai celebrating their students achievements, here focused on Mathematics:

“The 2019/20 academic year has been one of the most challenging and unique years for examination students to face. Being forced to tackle their final months of study much more independently than ever before and relying heavily on their own commitment and determination. A position that can only benefit future educational paths they choose to take.

The Mathematics department at the English College has worked tirelessly throughout this time, not only teaching live online lessons and sharing a huge range of resources, but providing opportunities in which students could display their knowledge and show that their Mathematical skills are continuously improving. Students have grasped every opportunity they possibly can, shared countless pieces of evidence and worked harder than ever to achieve the grade they deserve.

What has benefited our students is the maturity they have shown, attending lessons as if they were in the classroom and working as if there were exams at the end of this time.

Results Day will see students awarded with grades that have been more difficult than ever to achieve, taking into account all of their historical achievements – hopefully their ongoing commitment and work ethic will have allowed them to receive the grade they truly deserve.

Fiona Davidson. Head of Mathematics. The English College Dubai. 

More on The English College Dubai here.

09:28 am: official explanation from OFQAL on grades allocation this year.

09:35 am: More from OFQAL on the calculation methodology. Parents should notes that schools are not allowed to share the rank order of students prior to the publication of results.

09:40am: A quick reminder on the new grading structure for GCSE, now in its fourth year. Although it is difficult to map the old and new grading structures exactly, this illustration provides the official “fit”.

New GCSE grading structure explained.

09:50 am: TES reporting that “teacher grades [will be] ignored in most GCSE results” with “vast majority of GCSE results” and “60% of A Level results in large entry subjects” […]  “to be based entirely on statistical modelling.” In schools where individual subjects have five or less entries it is likely that teacher recommendations will stand, favouring subjects like Music.

09:59 am: Responses from parents coming in. The following capture the general perceptions at this stage… We are keeping comments from parents confidential unless they specifically ask us to publish their names. Note, comments are being moderated.

“As if things are not bad enough – now it seems the results are being made up. My daughter has worked her socks off.”

“I understand why they could not accept the views of teachers because grades would have gone up undermining the system. But that would have been better than basing the results on last year. And who says that grades would not have gone up this year?”

“So you are saying that my two sons cannot get A* if not enough children at his school got the same result last year? How is this fair?”

“I am confident our school will not let us down.”

 

 

 


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About The Author
Jon Westley
Jon Westley is the Editor of SchoolsCompared.com and WhichSchoolAdvisor.com UK. You can email him at jonathanwestley [at] schoolscompared.com
1 Comments
  • August 13, 2020 at 5:44 pm

    I think the UK government has been rather consistent, as opposed to the Scottish one that basically ripped up everything. The issue is people do not like the decision, but really that’s because there is no decision to like. “The algorithm” is the best of a bunch of bad options, a necessarily evil to prevent grade inflation, and the undermining of next year’s cohort, and the many talented students in 2020 whose grades would have been devalued if the number of students with top grades mushroomed. Those students who think they would have done better in an exam, can still take the exam. Yes it would be nicer to have an A* now, but it will be all the sweeter if they work for it and prove everyone wrong…

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