The education news is changing so fast at the time of writing (August 2020), it’s difficult to distil the relevant bits here.

Nevertheless, this is my take on things as at 20th August 2020:

Allowing teachers assessment grades to be used for final grades has removed some injustices but has led to many more top grades than ever before. We don’t have the final figures but some estimates from a responsible source forecast about 25% more A/A* grades at A level and 25% more 7/8/9 grades at GCSE (as compared with recent years’ results). I hope this won’t devalue the qualification for the 2020 cohort in the minds of future employers and further education institutions.

In the short term, I imagine the effects will be:

  • More A level students will be able to attend better Universities. This will mitigate the stress on the better Universities caused by the lack of full-fee-paying students. Instead the stress will be on the less-attractive Universities who’ll have fewer students; some of these may go bust this year.
  • More 16-year-olds will stay in school or sixth form college; fewer will leave to fewer academic environments. Some A Level courses in some schools may be oversubscribed.

I include here links to some recent (and not so recent) news stories that might interest those concerned about Maths Teaching. I have deliberately avoided the teachers’ web sites which tend to be full of jargon. The BBC, Daily Telegraph and Guardian tend to have the best coverage, although the Telegraph stories are behind paywalls so don’t feature much here:

  • 10 September 2014 – An excellent article showing, among other interesting statistics, the strength of GCSE teaching in London as compared to elsewhere in the country -


Martin Procter – August 2020

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