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Licudi reassures students and parents grading process will be ‘fair and objective’

Gilbert Licudi, the Minister for Education, has promised a “robust, rigorous, fair and objective” grading process for students who were due to take their GCSE and A-level exams this year but now cannot do so due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Earlier this month, UK exams regulator Ofqual cancelled the exams and instructed teachers to provide grades for students which reflect the results they would have been most likely to achieve had they gone ahead.

Schools and colleges, including those in Gibraltar following the UK system, have been told to rank pupils within each grade for each subject but not to share these with families until final results are issued.

Yesterday Mr Licudi underlined that last point as he sought to reassure students and parents faced with deep unease about this critical phase in education and how it will unfold in the coming weeks.

“It is very important to note that professionals are not allowed to engage with parents and students on any aspect of the process specific to individuals as Ofqual has issued strict instructions to this effect,” Mr Licudi said.

“We therefore ask students and parents to refrain from contacting the schools to discuss centre assessment grades as our professionals are unable to engage with them on this matter.”

“We appreciate that these are very uncertain times for students and parents and an unprecedented situation for our professionals, too.”

“Everyone involved in the process is aware of how important these qualifications are to the young people completing them, and will use their professional experience to make a fair and objective judgement of the grade they believe a student would have achieved had they sat their exams this year.”

“I can reassure you that the process will be robust and rigorous, with a team of experienced professionals working with all the pertinent staff within each of the three secondary institutions, to ensure that the process is fair and objective.”

Earlier this week the UK Government confirmed that students will receive their GCSE and A-level grades on the pre-planned results days in August after exams were cancelled amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

A-level pupils will get their results on August 13 and GCSE students will be given their grades on August 20, the UK’s Department for Education (DfE) said.

Mr Licudi said all the relevant information for students and parents issued by UK exams regulator Ofqual was available at www.education.gov.gi

He added too that there would be no change to the process for scholarship applications for students hoping to study in university.

Even so, Mr Licudi struck a note of caution here too.

“We do not know exactly what will happen but from the Department of Education’s point of view we need to plan and we need to be prepared for whatever the position may be,” he said.

“We certainly do not want to be caught by surprise and that is why we will be inviting applications for scholarships.”

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