It is disappointing to see the unquestioned parroting of “unconscious bias in teacher assessments benefiting middle‑class pupils”, even from such an authority as Lee Elliot Major, the professor of social mobility at the University of Exeter (A-level results: top universities expected to stick rigidly to offer grades, 31 July).
Schools were asked to show how they would eliminate unconscious bias in the policies they submitted to the exam boards and worked conscientiously towards this goal. Some measures included marking blind, whereby scripts were unnamed and marked by those who did not normally teach them.
Schools and trusts adapted their assessments to suit local circumstances, which gave schools suffering “learning loss” the chance to ensure that students were less disadvantaged than in normal years.
And this year every student will have had a whole range of assessments marked, moderated and checked – so much more carefully scrutinised than they would be in normal years, when coursework is only sampled to ensure compliance and most exam papers are only seen by one person.
Please can we stop vilifying teachers, give credit for the extraordinary care they exercise every year and applaud their superhuman efforts?
Ryde, Isle of Wight
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