Commenting on Ofqual’s announcement, Natalie Perera, Chief Executive of the Education Policy Institute, said: “Returning to the 2019 grade distribution seems to be the most pragmatic approach. As we said last year, there is no perfect option given the circumstances.
“We do, however, remain concerned about the impact on disadvantaged students. Our research finds that disadvantaged students and students in the north of the country have experienced greater learning loss as a result of the pandemic. Although their course of study for their qualifications may not have been affected by national closures, the years leading up to them (and providing the foundations for their courses) were significantly disrupted. While we acknowledge that these differences in learning loss cannot easily be corrected through the examination and grading process, it is crucial that sixth forms, colleges, universities, and employers consider this when making choices about admissions and employment.
“Asking schools and colleges to collect consistent evidence about students’ performance to guard against the impact of future disruptions is also sensible, but it must be implemented in a way that does not create additional burdens for schools and colleges, nor increase staff workload. Making the system more resilient is important, and the government must prioritise this by targeting resources at disadvantaged and vulnerable students.”