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Many high-achieving poor students concerned grades will be unfair

MORE than a third of disadvantaged sixth formers are not confident of receiving grades that fairly reflect their ability, according to research published yesterday.

Students’ A-level and GCSE grades will be determined by teachers’ assessments after the pandemic caused the cancellation of exams for a second year.

But many high-achieving poor students are concerned that these assessments will not be fair and over half believe that they will be unable to appeal successfully against grades that they believe to be wrong, a poll by the Social Mobility Foundation found. 

Foundation chief executive Sarah Atkinson said that young people from poorer backgrounds remain at a “distinct disadvantage,” despite efforts to address the unequal impact of the pandemic. 

“They have missed out on more school time and are less likely to have access to reliable internet, a laptop and a quiet place to study and yet the appeals process does not account for this at all,” she said. 

The charity is calling on the government to modify the appeals process to take these factors into account. 

The Department for Education said that grades would be subjected to “a range of internal and external quality assurance checks.”

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