Wednesday, February 21

Bias concern for BAME students as exams cancelled


 

 

The exams regulator in England says it is alert to concerns about unconscious bias, as GCSE and A level pupils are awarded grades after their exams were cancelled due to the lockdown.

Ofqual says it is consulting on how to implement arrangements for the summer to help ensure students are fairly rewarded.

The Department for Education acknowledges on its website that students from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to have their grades under-predicted.

A letter to the education secretary, signed by a group of experts and academics and initiated by the race equality think-tank the Runnymede Trust, highlights concern that black and minority ethnic (BAME) pupils are disproportionately disadvantaged by any bias.

It warns steps need to be taken to ensure students from lower socio-economic backgrounds do not lose out on opportunities to attend more selective universities.

At his home in Coventry he has piles of revision notes he now no longer needs. With exams cancelled because of the coronavirus outbreak, like all A level students his grades will be determined by teacher assessment and exam boards looking at how pupils at his school have performed in the past.