Headteachers are under pressure to make pupils sit high numbers of tests and use historical data about past performance to suppress the GCSE and A-level grades of high achievers, The Observer reports.
Some schools are asking GCSE students to sit as many as 35 exams over the next four to six weeks, so that they have recent evidence to justify the grades they are awarding, the paper says.
New guidance from Ofqual asks heads to consider their school’s results in previous years “as a guide to help them to check that their judgments are not unduly harsh or lenient”.
This has strong echoes of last summer’s abandoned algorithm which used schools’ past performance to adjust students’ grades. This led to some bright pupils at lower-performing state schools ending up with unjustly low grades.
Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said of Ofqual’s latest guidance: “It may suppress the grades of a year group which has more able students than in the previous years. It could lead to injustices.
“It’s imposing a data-driven outcome rather than an achievement-driven outcome.”
Teachers are expected to award students evidence-based grades, with more recent evidence deemed to be more representative of student performance.
At one London comprehensive, pupils taking 10 GCSEs have 35 separate assessments to do over the next six weeks, The Observer reports.