13 August 2020 18:39
ES News email The latest headlines in your inbox twice a day Monday - Friday plus breaking news updates Enter your email address Continue Please enter an email address Email address is invalid Fill out this field Email address is invalid You already have an account. Please log in Register with your social account or click here to log in I would like to receive lunchtime headlines Monday - Friday plus breaking news alerts, by email Update newsletter preferences A London state sixth form that saw 51 pupils receive Oxbridge offers has criticised the government's new "triple lock" A-level grading system as "flawed" and said its students have received "nothing like what they deserve" today. Brampton Manor Academy in East Ham opened its sixth form in 2012 with the specific aim of transforming progression rates to Oxbridge and Russell Group universities in the east London area. Mr Sam Dobin, director of the sixth form, told the Standard he has seen more than 100 pupils achieve straight A*-A grades today, with 47 of the 51 students holding Oxbridge offers confirming their places. But some Brampton Manor students have missed their first choice university due to their results being downgraded from teachers' predictions submitted to regulators.
The school leadership is planning to appeal the results of the "entire cohort". Mr Dobin said: "It's record Oxbridge progression. But our view is that these grades are nothing like what our students deserve. "They have awarded the school the same results as the last few years, but this years's cohort is more able. That's the data... their GCSE results were better than pervious cohorts, but their A-level results now are not. "That is not what we were promised, we were told prior attainment would be taken into account [by the Department for Education] and our view is that, from what we have seen, prior attainment has not been taken into account. "On the one hand we are really happy for our students, lots of them have got fantastic grades and are progressing to great universities, but the system has fallen short. "These students deserved even more. We are not satisfied with the process that has been undertaken and we will be appealing for the whole cohort. We will fight for those students." The Department for Education announced its "triple lock" system as a "safety net" for A-level grading after summer exams were cancelled due to Covid-19. The system has seen around two in five pupils around the country receive A-level results that had been graded down from their teachers' predictions after the system's standardisation process, which is moderated by an algorithm. The algorithm takes into account factors including the past performance of a school. The government has said the aim of the system is to make sure results are broadly in line with results from previous years and to make sure the results have the same value as those from previous years. Education minister, Nick Gibb, has said that without the algorithm, results were likely to have seen a grade inflation of 12 per cent. Some students have dropped two or three grades below what their teacher predicted. Exam boards downgraded 39.1 per cent of pupils' grades in England, according to data from Ofqual - which amounts to around 280,000 entries being adjusted down after moderation. In England, a total of 35.6 per cent of grades were adjusted down by one grade, 3.3 per cent were brought down by two grades and 0.2 per cent came down by three grades, figures from Ofqual show. In Scotland a similar system was scrapped after accusations of unfairness, and students were given the grades teachers originally predicted.. Schools will be able to lodge appeals on behalf of students in England. Appeals will be lodged either on the basis of results from mock exams, taken earlier this year before the pandemic, or exams taken in the autumn. Schools can also lodge appeals on behalf of students if they can show that grades are lower than expected because the school has changed in some way and therefore previous cohorts are no longer representative of this year's students. Mr Dobin added: "It will be pretty interesting to see how they [moderating bodies] respond. We have a pretty solid evidence base, so we are pretty confident." The school, which saw just one student go to Oxbridge in 2014, made headlines around the country earlier this year after scores of students received offers. The majority of offer-holders are from ethnic minority backgrounds, are the first in their family to attend university, or qualify for the pupil premium for disadvantaged children - meaning their parents earn below £16,000. Despite standardisation measures, figures released by the Joint Council for Qualifications - which cover A-level entries from students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland where around 300,000 students are receiving their results - revealed the number of A-level entries awarded an A grade or higher has risen to an all-time high, with 27.9 per cent securing the top grades this year. Ucas data released shows that overall university acceptances have risen this year. A breakdown shows a 15.2 per cent fall in the number of EU students accepted, with 22,430 confirmed so far. Nearly a third of British 18-year-olds have taken up places - a record high for results day. This rise comes despite a 1.5 per cent drop in the population of this age group in the UK. So far, 4 per cent of placed UK students are currently planning to defer starting their course, which is the same proportion as at this point last year. The data also shows a record number of poorer teenagers securing degree places.