A-level results legal challenge set to launch

Good Law Project is preparing to launch a Judicial Review against Ofqual after receiving a 'deluge' of examples from students impacted by this year's A-levels grading system

Claudia Civinini

A-level results 2020 legal challenge

A legal challenge against Ofqual is set to be launched by legal campaigners gathering evidence of pupils who have lost out due to the way A-level grades were calculated this year.

Earlier today, the Good Law Project tweeted that they were looking for students who had lost a university offer or had been otherwise affected by the “A-levels fiasco” and in particular for students who had been downgraded at least two grades from CAGs.

Over 3,500 retweets later, the group tweeted: “The response has been extraordinary. There are vast numbers of impacted students, all with their own stories of gross disappointment & thwarted dreams. We’re afraid we cannot process any more emails – there is a deluge. Thank you for your support – update on legal action to come”

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Jo Maugham QC, director of the Good Law Project, said in a series of tweets that details of the legal challenge would come, but that it would focus on the unfairness, and “in particular, the limited and flawed appeal rights”.

He also said that the full legal team would be announced and that a crowdfunding page would be set up once the firm had identified the test cases they want to take forward and finished the Pre Action Protocol Letter.

The move comes after a separate law firm confirmed it is going ahead with a legal challenge, Foxglove. Its director, Cori Crider, told Tes that Foxglove will be “comparing notes” with the Good Law Project.

Foxglove is putting forward the case made by an 18-year-old, Curtis Parfitt-Ford, who got in touch with them last week alarmed by reports over how the algorithm would work. A petition he launched on change.org calling on a fairer system for this year’s A-level and GCSE students has reached almost 165,000 signatures.

Foxglove and Mr Parfitt-Ford have set up a crowdfunding page for the case

The page reads: “It’s discriminatory to mark individual students down based on what school they go to…it is also a violation of the GDPR to give an automated algorithm so much power over young people’s futures and to rely on an algorithm that leads to wide-scale unfairness.

"Individuals must have the right to appeal the results they have been given and their teacher’s predictions, specific to them, must be given proper weight.

An Ofqual spokesperson said: 

"The arrangements we put in place this summer are the fairest possible to facilitate students progressing on to further study or employment as planned.

"We have been transparent about the principles of our standardisation model since April, and the data it would make use of. Precise detail of the model has been published. 

"Schools and colleges can appeal if they believe there has been an error or that the moderation process has not produced a reliable result. Students will also be able to take an exam in the autumn, if they would like an opportunity to improve their grade."


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Claudia Civinini

Claudia Civinini

Find me on Twitter @claudiacivinini

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