ALMOST a third of A level grades assessed by Ilkley Grammar School's teachers have been downgraded by the Government's algorithm-based process causing "anguish and discontent" in school and families.

Following the most unprecedented of years where A Level exams were cancelled due to Covid-19, students of Ilkley Grammar School yesterday received their calculated grades from the exam boards.

While the majority of students secured grades which will enable them to go on to university, in some cases students' plans have been derailed by the process.

Helen Williams, Headteacher said: "We warmly congratulate all of our students for their hard work over the last couple of years, as well as their resilience in dealing with the effects that this global pandemic has had on their education. We are pleased to see that the vast majority of our students have secured grades which have enabled them to move on to their next step at university or other destination.

"Despite the successes we have celebrated, many of our students unfortunately have received calculated grades which are not reflective of their teachers’ assessed grades as a result of the national standardisation process; 32 per cent of our centre assessed grades were downgraded.

"In some cases, students’ planned next steps have been derailed by an algorithm-based process and this has caused anguish and discontent both in school and with families.

"We continue to support those students and families in trying to make sense of the process and outcomes whilst we await details from Ofqual about the ‘valid mock results’ appeals process. Early analysis at IGS indicates we would expect to see an improved grade in approximately 20 per cent of cases."

Ms Williams added: “The last few months have not been easy, and we know just how frustrating and worrying the last few days and weeks have been as we awaited the outcome of the calculated grades process.

"We are all so proud of the way our Year 13 students have handled themselves over these last few months throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and we congratulate everyone for their efforts and hard work throughout their studies. This has seen the vast majority be able to move on to their chosen destinations, despite the uncertainty and volatility of this year’s results process.

"I want to take the opportunity to thank our staff for their tireless work and dedication as always, in supporting students, as well as to thank our parents, especially this year, who have provided ongoing support for both the school and our students.

"Although IGS’s overall results are broadly in line with previous years’, we were expecting even better results this year. Some of the individual grade outcomes that we have seen following the exam board standardisation process are disconcerting and unwarranted and we are now working hard as a school to determine the cases where we feel we have strong grounds for appeal, at both an individual and subject level. We will continue to support students and families over the coming days and weeks in dealing with the unexpected turmoil and negative impact that some of these results have brought.

"We wish all the very best to the class of 2020 as they move on to their next steps - you should be very proud of yourselves!”