BYP Network Stands In Solidarity With A-Level Students

Aug 15, 2020

We at the BYP Network are deeply angry and disappointed in seeing how many students’ across the UK have had their A Level results downgraded, due to an algorithm that disproportionately reduced the grades of those from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, exams had to be cancelled and as a result, schools had to submit predicted grades to the exam boards and exam boards then factored in the results from previous years and through their use of an algorithm, came up with the current A Level grades that students received.

The issue is that this same algorithm has led to the grades of several students being dramatically lower than their predicted grades and much lower than what they would have achieved had they taken the test.

This has affected the students from the poorer backgrounds the most, as the schools which have had historically lower grades, have had their students educational futures crippled by being awarded grades lower than their predicted grades which means that many have missed out on university course places and some have missed out on their university places in general.

Among many stories regarding this situation, Mulberry Sixth Form based in Tower Hamlets which is the poorest borough in London, has had 75% of their grades downgraded today. One of the highest level of downgrading which has been displayed.

Other stories include accounts of A*A* A predicted grades being lowered to BBC and predicted grades of AAB being downgraded to EED, which is heartbreaking when you consider the hard work which was put in through the year, being ruined by something which they had no control over.

We are disgusted at how the system that the exam boards have used to grade students have disproportionately affected students from less well-off backgrounds and at the same time, greatly benefitted students from the more traditional private schools where many of those students have been awarded grades which allow them to progress sufficiently into the university of their choice.

As we know, many black students come from disadvantaged backgrounds where it has always been hard to transcend their environments and succeed, despite coming up through systems which put us at disadvantages. This algorithm based grading system has only served in making it harder and almost impossible to succeed and mobilise themselves socially via the educational route.

For many black students, education is the door to which they can hope to enter a good university and thus improve their financial situations via the job market. The fact that the government can allow such futures to be discarded in the manner that they have is absolutely unforgivable. As a company that supports black professionals we understand that A Level injustices will greatly affect their future career prospects.

To not only downgrade many students' grades but to then charge a fee for re-marking, or only make it free for ‘exceptional circumstances’ is not good enough. We ask that Universities bypass the governments system and accept applicants based on their predicted grades. We also ask that the government completely casts aside their algorithmic grading system and officially award students based on their predictions.

Lives have been ruined. Futures are in the air.

Our young people are hurting as their best chances to improve their situations have been damaged by a government supported elitist machine.

We simply cannot allow this and as a community, we must seek justice.

- BYP Network

Kike Oniwinde
CEO & Co-Founder


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