Are A-levels a fair way to measure student ability?


Sonia Sodha (The fake meritocracy of A-level grades is rotten anyway – universities don’t need them, 18 August) may be right when she says “this is predicated on the crazy idea that we need to avoid AAA students studying with ABB students … at all […]

Mark Ormrod obituary


My friend and colleague Mark Ormrod, who has died of cancer aged 62, was professor of medieval history at the University of York and a prolific scholar who helped to change the school history curriculum, creating content focusing on the history of immigration. In 2011 […]

Autumn term chaos feared over exam resits and appeals


Like so many headteachers, Caroline Vile was furious when she discovered her school’s A-level results. Two-fifths of the teacher-assessed grades at Vile’s school in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire – one of the most deprived areas in the country – had been downgraded. “We’ve got amazing students, […]

Damage and disillusion caused by A-level downgrades


Once again, Boris Johnson thinks a three-part slogan will fix things. A-level results, apparently, are “robust”, “good” and “dependable” (Equalities body warns it may step in after A-level downgrades in England, 13 August). He cannot know the meaning of these words. Where was the robustness […]

Should Ofsted visit schools in England when they reopen?


As parents and teachers worry about school safety, Ofsted, the schools watchdog, will start a “phased return” to inspections in September, starting with all schools graded “inadequate”, plus a sample of others. Headteachers will get one day’s notice of the visit, which will result in […]