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A-level results: Andy Burnham set to take legal action over exam crisis

1 month ago 36
People take part in a protest outside the Department of Education in Westminster, LondonImage copyright PA Media Image caption Students protested against the exam grading system outside the Department for Education in London

The mayor of Greater Manchester is to write to England's exams regulator to initiate legal action over the "deeply flawed" system for A-level results.

Andy Burnham said he had taken legal advice and "expects to be writing to Ofqual later today to initiate action".

This follows criticism on the fairness of how grades have been decided after students were not able to sit exams as normal due to the coronavirus crisis.

The BBC has contacted the government and Ofqual for a response.

Ofqual has faced criticism over the statistical model it used to decide the grades.

In England, 280,000 A-level results were downgraded from teacher assessments on Thursday, almost 40% of the total. In Wales, 42% of A-level results predicted by teachers were lowered by the exam watchdog.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon apologised over downgraded exam results there and agreed to accept assessments by teachers.

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Pressure is mounting on ministers to resolve the exam grades crisis

Mr Burnham has since tweeted: "So it looks like the Government ARE digging in and standing by their deeply flawed system.

"In that case, I will be taking legal advice this morning and have instructed leading Counsel. I expect to be writing to Ofqual later today to initiate action."

Last week, Mr Burnham said he had "heard stories of young people, who have already suffered a terrible year, having yet another injustice done to them".

"It is clear to me that the system used to mark A-levels is inherently biased against larger educational institutions," he said.

"Given that a higher proportion of students from Greater Manchester attend such institutions than in other parts of the country, I am concerned that the marking system has been unfairly discriminatory against young people here, in part due to the institutions they attend."

Hundreds of students held a demonstration in central London on Sunday to protest against grades they believe were unfairly awarded.

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