The Daily Telegraph
Teachers should not determine pupils’ grades
sir – As a former A-level examiner, I am disconcerted by the current hullabaloo about grades.
The suggestion that teachers should determine the grades of their pupils is a manifest absurdity.
Few teachers have experience as examiners, which puts them at a decided disadvantage. Secondly, all teachers wish their pupils to do as well as possible. To make them responsible for the grades of their pupils is a burden that no honest teacher could accept. Furthermore, if teachers determine their pupils’ grades on this occasion, there would be irresistible pressure for them to do so in the future.
Thirdly, I suspect that pressure from senior management to massage the grades would be hard to resist.
For these reasons, I would encourage the Secretary of State to stick to his guns.
Dr Charles Stephens
sir – I was a GCSE moderator for years. Several schools convened with sample grades of art work and compared them. I had the last word on all decisions. This seemed fair and worked well.
Surely some sort of moderation between schools could make this year’s results more accurate, for both GCSES and A-levels.
sir – Any school leaver whose exam results are downgraded, leaving them unable to access a university place, could have been done a good turn.
Despite some 35 years teaching A-level mathematics and also having a degree in law, I am not able to charge as much for tutoring per hour as the amount charged by my plumber, mechanic, electrician, joiner and other tradesmen.
Disappointed students could be well advised to take an apprenticeship, which incurs no lifetime debt.