HEADTEACHERS of schools in Bournemouth and Christchurch have criticised the changes made to this year's results system, saying that the process has been “grossly unfair” on some students and “clearly flawed”.

Bournemouth School had 43 per cent of entries being graded A* and A, and 89 per cent of results graded A* to C, compared to 49 and 90 per cent respectively last year.

However, Dr Dorian Lewis, headmaster at the boys' grammar school in Charminster has disparaged the standardisation procedures used by exam boards and the algorithms used to determine this year’s results, with non-exam assessment and homework assignments submitted by teachers overlooked by examiners.

Dr Lewis said: “Whilst on the surface, our overall results appear to be very good, the standardisation process has been grossly unfair to a number of individual students in a range of subjects.

“Whilst we may have many concerns over algorithms, models and statistics, our main concerns are for the mental well-being and the life chances of the young people we serve.

“We contend that this government-led debacle has been detrimental to both. Our young people deserve better.

“As their teachers, we feel responsible for them, but powerless to do anything for them than offer our support, and challenge at the highest level the process that has been used to vary the awarded grades from those which we submitted, and they deserve.”

Earlier this week, the Department for Education announced a "triple lock" - so results will be the highest out of students' calculated grades, mocks and an optional written exam in the autumn.

To staff and students affected by this I can only offer my sympathy, as the government seem intent on ignoring improvement in standards

Schools were concerned that, because mock exams are carried out in many different ways by schools, they were not consistent enough to be used to determine A-level grades.

Highcliffe School said that, since receiving their results, the school has focussed on helping year 13 students come to terms with their results which they were unable to influence by sitting exams in the summer.

Headteacher Patrick Earnshaw said: “Many are struggling to understand why any of their grades were arbitrarily downgraded by an exam board when the standard of their work over two years, including their mock exams, was clearly much higher.

“To staff and students affected by this I can only offer my sympathy, as the government seem intent on ignoring improvement in standards.”

Having spoken to students and parents when picking up their results, several comments have been about the board process for awarding final grades and whether results across England are being handled differently compared to results north of the board.

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Mr Earnshaw added: “Most have focused on whether young people in England may have been treated differently and less even-handedly than their peers in Scotland were earlier in the week.

“Or why so much weight seems to have been given by the Boards in their decision on students’ final grades to an impersonal mathematical algorithm - clearly flawed once applied down at the level of individual subject or student grades - rather than our teachers’ rigorous professional assessment of two years’ worth of work by each student.”