Paul Whiteman, general secretary of NAHT, the largest school leadership union, said:
“Congratulations to all students receiving their results today. Students have shown great resilience and determination and for each one, their grades are a true reflection of a huge amount of work in the most challenging of circumstances. As in any other year, these grades will be a passport to the next phase of education, training or employment. School and college staff must also be congratulated for their remarkable efforts in implementing the processes for awarding grades this year – it has been an intense and highly pressured summer term for them.
“This year’s grades are based on students’ actual work, assessed by their teachers, moderated and quality assured. There are no algorithms this year, just human effort and human expert judgement.
“Our advice is to ignore the chat about grade inflation. The grades awarded in 2021 are a holistic judgement based on work which students have produced. These evidence-based decisions are very different to the normal way grades are awarded through exams. Students should be confident that they are getting the grades they deserve and that reflect the standard of achievement they have demonstrated.
“Every year there are differences in results between groups of students and regions; this year is no different. The reasons for this are complex and it is impossible to pin down a single reason as to why certain groups of students have performed better than others. In these extra-ordinary circumstances students will also have had wildly diverse experiences of lockdown and remote learning over the two years of their course.”
First published 10 August 2021