Students in Sheffield protest to demand change to the education system after exam results controversy

Students in Sheffield are taking part in a nationwide protest in response to the recent controversy over the Government’s handling of A-level, GCSE and BTEC exam results.

Thursday, 20th August 2020, 3:39 pm

Protestors gathered outside the Department for Education building on Norfolk Street in Sheffield at 3.30pm today (August 20) to have a socially distanced demonstration.

The students protesting are demanding that the government provides more funding for state schools to ensure an equal standard of education for all. ‘regardless of ethnicity or background’.

It comes after the government backed a controversial algorithm system to grade exams in lieu of students being able to sit them becuase of the pandemic.

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However the system, which was developed by Ofqual, downgraded 40 per cent of grades from what teachers predicted, causing outcry among students and educators alike.

This is because the algorithm factored in past results from different year groups at individual schools when determining each student’s grades, leading to accusations of bias and discrimination, with some branding it a ‘postcode lottery’.

Under pressure from students, teachers and parents, the Government did a U-turn on the issue, and decided that grades would instead be based on teachers’ predictions.

The change in grading has seen the proportion of GCSE entries awarded top marks surge to a record high in England.

A sign left outside the Department for Education building in London, as a protest over the continuing issues of last week's A level results which saw some candidates receive lower-than-expected grades after their exams were cancelled as a result of coronavirus.

The proportion of A-level candidates receiving an A grade or higher in England increased to 38.1 per cent, up from 27.6 per cent when results were initially released last week.

BTEC students remain in waiting, as a U-turn around the way they are graded means results have not yet been finalised.

Department for Education building in Sheffield