GCSEs: Don't pressure teachers on grades, students told

Ofqual warns GCSE and A-level students that it is 'really important' they don't pressure teachers to raise their grades

Catherine Lough

GCSEs and A levels 2021: Parents pressuring teachers to raise grades

Students have been told by Ofqual not to exert pressure on their teachers to raise their GCSE or A-level grades.

In a guide published for students today, the regulator says it is "really important" that students do not try to pressure teachers into changing their grading decisions, as this will be treated as malpractice.

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"It is really important that you and your parents or carers don’t try to put your teachers under pressure to submit grades higher than the evidence supports," the guide says.

"Headteachers and principals have been asked to keep records of such cases and exam boards may treat this behaviour as malpractice," it adds.

GCSEs and A levels 2021: Warning over student pressure to raise grades

It is not the first time Ofqual has raised the issue of teachers being subjected to undue pressure over GCSE and A-level grades, but it is the first direct warning to students themselves. 

In March, schools were warned in Ofqual guidance that they should "be careful to avoid teachers being put under pressure from students, parents or carers to submit grades that are higher than the evidence supports".

And Ofqual chair Ian Bauckham also told the Association of School and College Leaders' conference that the evidence in support of grades was not "somehow topics for negotiation between teacher and student or teacher and parents" but "matters of teachers' professional judgement".

Ofqual interim chief regulator Simon Lebus said today: "The arrangements we have put in place offer the fairest way forward and it is important that students, parents and the wider public have confidence in this process."

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author bio

Catherine Lough

Catherine Lough is a reporter at Tes.

Find me on Twitter @CathImogenLough

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