The August Politics Thread

In among everything else I spotted this less remarked on story of Tory sleeze

IDS bemoans signing the WA, which he voted for and the Tories won their majority on (apologies for the s*n link will try and find an alternative)


Tories going to bin the WA and just leave the EU with no deal and blame it all on the EU/Remoaners etc? What a shocker.


It’s interesting because even the WA doesn’t guarantee a deal it just provides a way of the UK exiting the union, tearing it up would almost guarantee that no future trade deal would occur though.

1 Like

He used to be a teacher at my old school (long before I was born)

1 Like

Since december every single Tory MP on telly has claimed the WA is proof of a deal though (although obv its just a precursor to the free trade agreement that will never happen and has never been possible because the tories want to scrap food and working standards) so basically everyone already thinks the deal is ‘done’

Yeah, it’s utterly fucked and totally indefensible. I generally roll my eyes whenever random internet people (like me) call for someone to be sacked, but whoever signed that off should be out of a job pronto.

It’s throwing up some pretty wild individual results, too.

Yeah, he’s going to have to go I reckon. It’s a shame as he’s a good politician. But that is a terrible, terrible look for any party trying to look remotely progressive.

I hadn’t read anything about the methodology. Was much said about it when announced?

1 Like

Just saw a tweet saying the same process is used down south as well.

1 Like

Yeah, I assume this methodology was used in the past for pupils who couldn’t attend exams. It’s mad it has been used in recent times, let alone this year.

Communists not welcome in a party that supposedly represents the parliamentary arm of the Labour movement? Big if true.

Hi ATBG, can you or @AdrianWebb link to something explaining how this methodology works? Is it like the exams get marked, and then those marks are automatically moderated with a calculation based on that school’s previous years’ marks? If so, who is defending that, and… how?

There are links in the thread posted above:

Not sure if this one will work:


thanks though I’m not sure I’ll get round to reading the entire original source material tbh.
I was being lazy to be fair, having googled, I now understand it a bit better.

his brother was my favourite teacher ever, as a riveting aside


I’m a teacher in England and have been involved in the process of estimating grades for my students.

A couple of caveats before I share my thoughts:

  • I haven’t looked at the differences between what the Scots are doing vs. what’s being done in England in any great detail
  • The system will inevitably throw up injustices in certain situations (e.g. the girl someone from twitter someone posted above this)
  • The question of what the exam boards will do with the appeals process is an important one - in England it’s looking like individual appeals will be extremely hard to bring forward and students will instead be forced to resit in the new Autumn exam series

Now my thoughts:
In an almost impossible situation, I’m not sure what more exam boards and schools could realistically have done this summer. The system we’ve had to work within is flawed, and won’t deliver the same results as the exams running as normal, but when I read a lot of the criticisms, I’m not really sure what people think could have been done differently. Obviously, we’re waiting for results in England and it could be a shitshow, but I’ll reserve getting my pitchfork out until we see what happens.

In terms of the data highlighted in the tweet above, I don’t think outrage is merited. Yes, the most deprived have been marked down the most, but the thing to look at isn’t the number highlighted on the left, but the 4 numbers to the left of that. Sturgeon saying teachers needed stricter moderation isn’t helpful, but in this case it’s sadly true: how could anyone in a position of power justify overall results being 10%+ better than any of the last 4 years overall? How would a result roughly 16.5% better than anything that’s happened in the last 4 years be credible or realistic? But another question worth asking is how did the people above let these estimates come through as the final estimates in the first place? It seems astonishing that school leaders and those directly above them wouldn’t have looked at the numbers and seen a trend of over-estimating in relation to prior data.

I think, sadly, the issue isn’t with the model itself, but with the inequalities that exist and persist within our education systems. While I recognise the model’s flaws, I simply don’t know what you could do on a system wide level that would be better and not also have drastic and inherent flaws. This model will no doubt be unfair, and individuals will suffer injustices, but system-wide it’s about the best that could feasibly have been done.

In some cases, departments will gain/lose from this model and that could be drastic in very particular circumstances (particularly with options subjects that have smaller intakes and variability each year in terms of which students take their subjects).Whether, as a model, it could have been executed much better and how it could have been done better is another question, and one that I don’t have the answers to! (Although ‘yes, it could have been done better’ seems an obvious answer)


Yeah, this is what I was thinking (especially given how prevalent over-prediction of grades is).

My work surveyed final year school students in March/April to see what they thought about A-level exams being cancelled - there were a lot of relieved students who felt they had been over predicted in the first place, and that - given that their teachers were the ones who had given them what they perceived to be inflated predictions - they were more likely to achieve these grades now than if they had taken their exams.

in a separate bit of work done last year, it was found that students are much better at predicting their own grades than teachers

(Interested to hear more about this though)

1 Like