Carol Morgan obituary

My mother, Carol Morgan, who has died aged 78 from cancer, was a headteacher and a believer in the transformative power of education. Born to Rose (nee Wood) and Harold Hayes, a pattern maker, in Salford, Carol excelled academically and passed her 11-plus with the second highest marks in the city. Her teachers at Pendleton high school, where she became […]

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Firm linked to Gove and Cummings hired to work with Ofqual on A-levels

A company run by long–term associates of Michael Gove and Dominic Cummings has been working behind the scenes with the exams agency Ofqual on its disastrous strategy for determining A-level results, the Guardian can reveal. Public First, a policy and research firm owned by James Frayne and Rachel Wolf, who both formerly worked for Gove, has been involved on the […]

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BTec exam board joins grades U-turn to use teacher assessment

Students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland hoping to use BTec qualifications to win university places have been given a lifeline after an examination board performed its own U-turn to scrap the flawed system it had used to award grades. Pearson, which offers BTecs to 250,00 students, including around 100,000 sixth formers who take them as a vocational equivalent to […]

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Hopes and fears after the Tories’ A-level disaster

On Sunday, I joined fellow students from across the country to demand justice for exam pupils. As a politically nerdy GCSE student, I created a placard telling Gavin Williamson to “Go away and shut up” (mimicking the minister’s own words after the Salisbury poisonings). The next morning, I woke up in complete shock, not only to the public’s strong support […]

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Welsh government makes U-turn on A-level and GCSE results

Wales has joined Scotland and Northern Ireland and confirmed that students will be awarded their centre assessment grades, with England expected to follow suit shortly. Wales’s education minister, Kirsty Williams, said given decisions that had already been taken elsewhere she had decided to press ahead with teacher assessment. Williams said: “Working with Qualifications Wales and WJEC we have sought an […]

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Have you been protesting against A-level downgrading?

Protests have taken place over three consecutive days in London by A-level students demonstrating against what they believe is an injustice, which saw schools’ historic performances used to standardise results in England through an algorithm, which saw 40% of grades downgraded. Boris Johnson has been urged to intervene as headteachers came out in favour of a Scotland-style solution using teachers’ […]

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Ofqual suspends A-level appeal criteria hours after announcing them

The exams regulator for England has dramatically suspended its criteria for students hoping to challenge their A-level grades on the basis of their results in mock exams. In a brief statement, Ofqual said the policy was “being reviewed” by its board and that further information would be released “in due course”. No reason for the decision was immediately available. The […]

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Shower curtains and police tape: how US schools are trying to reopen

As the US school reopening debate rages on, conflicting concerns around the safety of teachers, students and parents; the need for parents to get back to work; and children’s development is a lot to balance. Those concerns, combined with the huge variation in how US states are dealing with Covid-19, means schools are facing some serious stumbling blocks along their […]

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