A-Level students won the right to know about their achieved ranks

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A-Level students have won the right to know about the rank they had achieved. They were struggling to achieve this right since long. As the exam of O-A Levels was not being conducted throughout the international setup under Cambridge International Examinations amid COVID-19 pandemic.

Cancellation of Exams

Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) at the very initial stage of lock-down had decided not to conduct exams this year and the results will be produced using the statistical model based on the performance of the students for previous years. Schools were directed to submit the predicted results and previous performance for each of their students.

A-Level students won the right of knowing about their ranks

But when the results are being expected a dramatic situation has been aroused throughout the world about the results getting controversial. And the students won the right to know about their ranking before the announcement of the results. But in the result of it Schools faced a flood of complaints as the adopted algorithm actually downgraded 300,000 marks.

The office of Information commissioner confirmed about the exemption of exam script, used to protect how markers have decided on a student’s final grade, and that will remain in place this year but that it does not apply to rank order requests from students.  

Also read: Reopening of educational institutions: Still a big question

The framework model was designed to produce the final result after gathering data such as in-class rank of each student when calculating their results.

The model will take into account the factors such as where each pupil ranks in their class when calculating their results, with those at the top of the list potentially having grades raised and those at the bottom having their results lowered, the Daily Telegraph reports.

Schools are going to have five months to respond if the formal request is being made before the announcement of the results, and if they receives any request after the announcement of the results, then they would have deadline of 40 days to respond to that request, said The Information Commissioner.

“There is a lot of confusion in concluding that whether we only need to entertain the application requesting the ranks or we also need to entertain the applications requesting for the predicted grades”, said The Association of School and College Leaders. They added that “according to the best of our understanding we are going to remain them private, while only final calculated grades would be exposed to the students.

They also acknowledged that predicted grades and student rankings are not exempted from subject access requests made under the Data Protection Act 2018.

The General Data Protection Regulations also states that, “schools are liable to provide the data which they had submitted to the examination boards to the requesting student”. Including comments of markers about predicted grades of students, their class ranking and any scores achieved in school test except the result of any of the mock exam or assignments the school had conducted on their own.

Same situation was being created in GCSEs results, more than 2 million grades are subject to be adjusted or ignored completely.


Story by: Talha Ali Hashmi (Creative Head, MTD), Talha is a researcher possessing a degree in Environmental Studies and a certified Environmentalist from Technical University of Denmark. He is writing on Current Affairs, Environmental Management, Education and Technology since last 8 years


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