IB results: Unhappy schools want more transparency

Some school leaders reportedly unhappy with International Baccalaureate grades that don’t tally with teacher predictions
6th July 2020, 6:33pm

Share

IB results: Unhappy schools want more transparency

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/ib-results-unhappy-schools-want-more-transparency
Coronavirus Schools

School leaders said they were frustrated by a lack of transparency from the International Baccalaureate over its grading process as results were released today.

The IB exams were cancelled earlier this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, meaning that grades for the Diploma Programme were calculated using teacher-predicted grades, coursework and historic data.

But some school leaders were reportedly unhappy with the results that the process left them with. There have also been calls for more transparency from the board, with some heads saying that a lack of clarity over the grading process has been frustrating. 


News: IB Results: Rise in average score worldwide

IB results day 2020: Asia-Pacific schools cement their lead

IB director-general: Education must change post-Covid


Richard Markham, chief executive of the IB Schools and Colleges Association, told Tes that there had been a “mixture of responses to the results that [schools] have received”, and that “some schools feel that use of historic data has treated them kindly, others feel that historic data has not been applied”.

IB results day 2020: ‘We don’t know how they arrived at these grades’

“Some schools are very happy, others less so,” he said. “There are some where predictions are spot on, others where they are a grade or two off.”

David James, deputy head of Bryanston School, an independent school in Dorset, said: “There’s a lack of transparency over results - we don’t know how the IB have arrived at these grades. If you go on their website, it’s not that obvious how they’ve calculated the grades.

“Schools just don’t know how these grades have been arrived at yet, nor will they until component marks are released later this week. The other thing I think that is lacking in any clarity is the appeals process. The IB claim it is ‘business as usual’, but how can it be when the process this year is so different?”

Unlike other exam boards in England, the IB has marked coursework and internal assessments itself this year, which Mr James said had added to the confusion.

“We don’t know whether they’ve marked every piece of internal assessment or just a sample, or whether they’ve sampled from the top, middle and bottom,” he said. 

“So what they’ve done is very different from the other awarding bodies - they have marked the work. This must have placed sudden - and huge - strain on the assessment process.”

He added: “It would be interesting to ask the IB how they recruited all those examiners - what training were they given? What moderation processes were put in place?

“When you think of the sheer numbers of students across the world, the complexity of getting those internal assessments to them to be marked in such a short space of time, it’s a pretty difficult logistical challenge to do that and get all those examiners trained up. I’d be amazed if there weren’t significant inconsistencies.”

The IB has been contacted for comment. 

 

 

You’ve reached your limit of free articles this month

Register for free to read more

You can read two more articles on Tes for free this month if you register using the button below.

Alternatively, you can subscribe for just £1 per month for the next three months and get:

  • Unlimited access to all Tes magazine content
  • Exclusive subscriber-only articles 
  • Email newsletters

Already registered? Log in

You’ve reached your limit of free articles this month

Subscribe to read more

You can subscribe for just £1 per month for the next three months and get:

  • Unlimited access to all Tes magazine content
  • Exclusive subscriber-only articles 
  • Email newsletters

This is 0 of 1

Now only £1 a month for 3 months

Subscribe for just £1 per month for the next 3 months to get unlimited access to all Tes magazine content. Or register to get 2 articles free per month.

Already registered? Log in

This is 0 of 1

Now only £1 a month for 3 months

Subscribe for just £1 per month for the next 3 months to get unlimited access to all Tes magazine content.