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Teacher-Assessed GCSE Grades Welcomed

There has been relief for hundreds of GCSE pupils across Jersey picking up their grades today.

Students' grades are no longer being marked by computer modelling, and are instead based on teachers' assessments.

It's after the UK Government chose to scrap the algorithm that bases grades on personal performance and location.

Assistant Education Minister Deputy Jeremy Maçon says today's results day has gone a lot smoother than the stress of last week's A level results.

"Obviously with the level of upset with the A-Level results the algorithms some of the quirks of the system, it seems that the teacher assessments seem to be a much better reflection on students.

The important thing is to obviously congratulate students with their hard work on their GCSEs but most importantly is how to support them now onto however they want to progress and that’s exactly what is going forward in the schools and with Skills Jersey."

Skills Jersey offers advice for their next steps into further education, apprenticeships, or careers.

"Students can come here and be advised appropriately as to what their next steps are. We are very proud of what they have achieved so far, the fact that they are now considering what their next steps are we are here to support them in making that decision."

Grainville Headteacher Sue Morris says all the teachers noted the smiles their students had today when collecting their results.

"It has been an absolutely fabulous day, the children have had such good results, staff have been very relaxed and all of the students I’ve spoken to today, and that’s a lot, have all got onto their courses they needed to get on so we are really ecstatic.

"We know our children, a mathematical formula does not know our children, we know exactly where our children are at within every single subject, we spent a month making sure we had robust and reliable data so we are very clear that GCSE results are accurate, they are exact, and I would be happy for Ofqual to come into Grainville and check them.

Hautlieu's Headteacher Nick Falle says all students should be commended for their resilience.

"We should remember that this year group have had their schooling abruptly stopped, they’ve had their examinations cancelled for which they worked so hard, so today they have had fantastic grades but I want to say very loudly to the community out there that those students deserve every single one of those grades.

"The students have coped remarkably well, in some way probably better than some of us adults. We're acutely aware that students have been away from school, for some time now, so as we begin our induction work with students in September as part of that welcoming process to sixth form study focus on those study skills get them excited about their learning again. We're really confident that they’re going to hit the ground running."

Last night the UK Government released a statement saying BTEC results will be withheld due to exam boards not having enough time to recalculate grades after the U-turn.

More than 150 students in Jersey have taken Level 2 and 3 BTEC and other vocational courses, however they received their teacher-assessed grades earlier today. Their official grades will be given as soon as they are available, but possibly not until next week.

Seán O’Regan says heads and teachers went into school late last night and early this morning to rectify the situation.

"These are really important qualifications, the decisions being made nationally to put that back until next week, the teachers have accessed their students, we’ve made sure that everybody understands school by school take that envelope, be confident, take the results, go and talk to the sixth form you’re heading to next about the right course for you based on those results."

The government is yet to publically announce the island-wide pass rate, but several schools have spoken of a very high success rate.

Victoria College has enjoyed its best-ever results, with 20% of grades at the highest possible level (Grade 9) and 66% of all grades at 7-9 (equivalent to A-A*)

"We have known for some time that this is a special and talented year group. They were always destined to produce a strong set of GCSE grades. We congratulate them for all their hard work throughout their GCSE studies. They have shown great determination and resilience in overcoming the disappointment of not being able to sit their examinations this summer. I would also like to thank their teachers and their parents for the support they have shown our boys throughout these most challenging times.

"Achieving excellent examination grades is only one measure of success and these boys have contributed greatly to our school in all aspects of their education. I now very much look forward to welcoming the majority of the year group into our Sixth Form from September; but for the small number who are leaving us, I thank them for their many contributions to Victoria College and wish them all success for their future." - Alun Watkins, Headmaster.

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