A YORK Conservative MP has hit out at the government A-level assessment system.

Julian Sturdy, MP for York Outer, has said that the A-level assessment system is “wrong” and that he will be joining a cohort of conservative MPs lobbying for a change to the grading system that saw up to 280,000 pupils nationwide having their marks downgraded.

Following the cancellation of this summer’s A-level exams, after the nation went into lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year results have been based on calculated grades.

The grades used teacher predictions of the results students would have achieved if the exams had gone ahead as normal.

For each student, teachers provided an assessment grade. Exam boards then standardised the results based on a process decided with Ofqual, the Government’s body for regulating exams.

On Wednesday evening, the Government announced pupils in England had the right to appeal - through their schools - to use the grades awarded from mock exam results if they are unhappy with the ones they have been awarded.

Speaking to BBC Radio York, Mr Sturdy said: “Up to 40 per cent of the grades have been downgraded and I don’t understand how that can be done fairly.

We are seeing students losing their future and I think it is wrong. I will certainly be making my view clear to the prime minister and the Education Secretary. I do feel we shouldn’t be downgrading the grades. It isn’t just and fair for the students. I, and several other MPs, will be lobbying for a change.

“We’ve got to remember we are in unprecedented times, but these are our children’s future and we must put that first, rather than worry about a one-off year of results inflation.

“I don’t think we should be focusing on and worrying about grade inflation at all - we should be concerned with children’s futures.

“Personally, I don’t think the triple lock system has not helped. For some children, it might help if they have high mock grades but there is confusion about the process and how students go about doing it.

“Mocks are ultimately a practice for students and are treated differently. Quite often teachers will mark them differently as well because they don’t want children to become complacent, and are therefore marked harder.

“Resitting will always be an option and should be there but there is the danger if we enter into another spike then students may not be able to resit.

“And where does that help them get into university, who are making decisions right now.

“I think the government should have copied the Scottish system. The u-turn made by the Scottish government was a warning sign. Ultimately I don’t think the triple-lock system is good enough. This is a one-off year and we have to help the students. It is their future at stake and I do hope the government will listen and change their mind.”