BELLE MONT, our Sutton reporter, on a remarkable outburst over the government’s shambolic handling of this week’s exam results
Tim Crowley, the leader of the opposition Tories on Sutton Council, has said that the shambolic handling of England’s A-Level results by the Dominic Cummings-led government has made him “ashamed to be a Conservative”.
Crowley was responding on social media to a tweet from Lord Porter, the former chair of the Local Government Association, who described the situation as a “clusterfuck”.
Porter tweeted, “Today is one of those rare days where I have to say I am ashamed to be a Conservative.
“We have had months to sort out this A-Level stuff and today is a cluster****. There are going to be hundreds if not thousands of students who get stiffed by the shambolic process.”
Crowley, who says that Gary Porter is “a rare politician who I do actually admire”, responded to the tweet by writing, “Gary, I have to agree with you.
“Let’s hope the government sees sense and does an about-turn.”
Crowley seems unlikely to have his wish granted. But when asked if he was now going to resign from the Conservative Party – since the A-Level shambles is hardly the first disaster inflicted on the nation by Cummings, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and the rest of the Tory Cabinet of fools and incompetents – Crowley laughed.
Today he said, “I am not in agreement with this algorithm formula that has been used to determine A-Level grades for pupils. Someone has said that Ofqual has been like comedians Morecambe and Wise, and that they gave out all the right grades, but not necessarily to the right pupils.
“I know from personal experience with my three children, all of whom went through the A level process, how nerve-wracking results day can be. One of my children was predicted ABC but actually got A*AA. She went to Glyn and I know that under this year’s system there is no way her grades would have been pushed up. Indeed they would more likely have gone down. That would have had a huge impact on her life chances.
“This is why in my view the system that has been formulated is so unfair when it is based on a school’s past performance.
“We have heard of a pupil who got predicted AAC. When she got her grades on Thursday she got AAU. How can that possibly be?
“The government and Ofqual have said that they have done this because it risks grade inflation this year that would be way outside of the normal parameters. So what?
“It is an abnormal year where pupils through no fault of their own are now at the whim of an algorithm. These algorithms may be OK for in-play betting or stockmarket trading, but it is not OK for this to be used when determining young peoples’ futures.”
And Crowley added, “I am pleased to see that the government has agreed to pay the cost of appeals and that university places have to be kept open until September 7, but I think it would be far better this year just to allow the pupils’ predicted grades. Those students who have been over-predicted will be weeded out in the first year at uni, plus this year the universities have more available places because of the lack of overseas students.
“I know I won’t make myself popular by speaking out against this, but politics is not or should not be about swallowing the government line, especially when it affects individuals like this in this unique circumstance.
“So therefore I call upon the government to reconsider its stance on this and reconsider its position.”
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