THIS year’s A-Level results were described as a “disaster for a whole cohort of young people”, with Dorset MPs adding their voices to the backlash

Schools, parents and students have been left shocked and disappointed after receiving many lower grades compared to teacher assessments and predicted results.

Conservative MPs Sir Christopher Chope, Sir Robert Syms, Tobias Ellwood and Conor Burns all told the Daily Echo the issue needed to be looked into by government.

Christchurch representative Sir Christopher said: “We can now see the consequence of having closed down the schools and stopping the exams and also having put a cap on university places.

Bournemouth Echo: Christchurch MP Sir Christopher ChopeChristchurch MP Sir Christopher Chope

“Those three things have created an arbitrary system, in which a lot of people, through no fault of their own, are falling foul as victims.

It is a disaster for a whole cohort of young people.”

Poole MP Sir Robert said altering the grades put forward by teachers for 280,000 out of 713,000 pupils nationally was too much change, with many being dropped by more than one grade.

Read more: A-level Results Day: Headteachers slam grades as “grossly unfair”

Sir Robert said: “I personally would not have cancelled the exams, whatever the difficulties. You create a bigger problem by cancelling the exams.

“The government has gone forward with this assessment by teachers and then with the computer algorithm to make adjustments. I can’t see that having a computer algorithm adjusting grades by assuming what schools had done in previous years is very fair.

“If somebody in a school is particularly good at maths and they should get an A, but that school hasn’t had a maths A for the past couple of years, then in all likelihood they have been marked down by the computer.

“I just think that is unfair. The government’s view is they do not want grade inflation because they think that will reduce the value of grades but I can’t see any other way of having a fair assessment without having a fair degree of grade inflation.

“I think the government, unless they come up with an extremely robust and quick appeals system, is going to have to consider shifting to the teacher assessments and accepting that there is grade inflation

“I have made my views known to the government and, indeed, to the whips office. I am very unhappy about what is going on. I just can’t see, as things are organised, that it is very fair.”

Bournemouth Echo: Poole MP Sir Robert SymsPoole MP Sir Robert Syms

Sir Robert added: “The truth is you can go into an exam and cock up a question and you then know you might not get the grade you were expecting but if you don’t get the exam, what you don’t expect is the computer to assume that a certain proportion of people in your class cocked up the question.

“If a teacher ranked you fifth out of five in the class who were going to get As, you are the one who gets knocked off by the computer.

“It is totally random and totally unfair, which is why I think at the end of the day the only way this can be sorted out is for teachers’ assessments to be taken, even if that means grade inflation for a year. Some people get higher grades, but I think that is less of a problem than having people actually missing grades and missing a university course that they have been working for over two or three years.”

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Bournemouth East MP Mr Ellwood said he was speaking to every headteacher in his constituency yesterday.

“There are extremely unfortunate circumstances that have led to this and we need to resolve this. The scale of disappointment means this does need to be looked into,” said Mr Ellwood.

“The situation is still evolving as the government comes to terms with the scale of the challenge ahead but understandably there will be an awful lot of disappointed students and I fully appreciate that.”

Bournemouth Echo: Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood

Mr Ellwood said teacher assessments should be factored in more as the staff were in the best position to make a fair judgement on what grade should be given.

He added: ”I personally didn’t do particularly well at this level in the International Baccalaureate. Much as there will be huge disappointment, it should not be seen as the end of the world but, ultimately, we need to more to rectify the disjoint between anticipated grades and what has been received – that should be the urgency for the government.”

MPs have been set up with a hotline to contact exams regulator Ofqual to raise any concerns that they have.

Mr Burns, who represents Bournemouth West, said he stands ready to do all he can to help students in his constituency.

Bournemouth Echo: Bournemouth West MP Conor BurnsBournemouth West MP Conor Burns

“Clearly this was a very, very challenging situation,” said Mr Burns. “We never had this before where you had to award grades without, in some cases, completion of the course or the sitting of an exam.

“People are understandably struggling with the fact that a lot of schools use the mock exam as a means of challenging the pupil, to incentivise them to work harder as they build towards the final exam."

He added: “When you have any sort of algorithmic way of deciding grades, you are going to end up with situations where young people feel they have been disadvantaged.

“For a lot of young people these are life-defining decisions and I feel this particularly strong in myself because if I had gone on my mocks at A-level, I wouldn’t have gone to the university that I ended up going to and my life would have taken a very different trajectory.

“The key thing now is to support those young people in making sure what they have been given is fair.”