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Grading outcry takes shine off day of positives for many

Jewish schools had still performed well despite exam boards lowering many grades submitted by teachers

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The growing outcry over the perceived unfairness of the grading system took the shine off what would otherwise have been a day of celebration.

When the A-levels results were announced on Thursday, Jewish schools had still performed well despite exam boards lowering many grades submitted by teachers.

Although 52 per cent of teacher grades had been marked down at JCoSS in East Barnet, the school improved on its record performance of last year with its proportion of A* to As rising from 44 per cent to 49: its 78 per cent of A* to Bs was slightly up on last year.

Three pupils — Ethan Levenson, Oscar Pollack and Stefan Tucker —achieved four A*s, and seven will be going on to Oxford or Cambridge.

Ben Conway and Ethan Baker had three A*s apiece; Eliana Stern and James Saker two A*s and two As: and Guy Nitzani, Cody Roth and Manny Smith each with two A*s and an A.

At Yavneh College in Borehamwood, headteacher Spencer Lewis said 26 per cent of pupil grades had been “disappointingly downgraded” in “a very difficult year”. Nonetheless, he was “happy and proud of what our students have achieved”.

All secured passes between A* and C, with 31 per cent achieving all A or A* grades. Overall, 89 per cent of grades were between A* and B, 61 per cent at A* to A and 25 per cent A*. In addition, 88 per cent of those taking vocational courses gained three distinctions.

Standard-bearers for Yavneh were Ben Gruneberg with four A*s: Sophie Horne and Daniella Khalastchi with three A*s and an A: Beth Kabaron, Amy Schapira, Iftach Sella and David Shamash, two A*s and two As: Nathan Silver, Sophie Baxter and Danny Berlin, two A*s and two As: Shaina Lesser, Amelie Freedman, Aimee Harris and Jacob Taylor two A*s and an A.

JFS reported that 25 per cent of its pupils’ grades had been downgraded, commenting that it was “disappointing that the carefully considered centre-assessed grades were not accepted in totality by the exam boards”.

But the Kenton-based school described its overall results as “outstanding” with 51.5 per cent of all grades A*s and As, and 77.3 per cent from A* to B. Fourteen of its 241 exam students will take up places at Oxford or Cambridge. Six have been accepted to medical school.

One JFS high-flier was junior England cross-country international David Stone who is heading to Birmingham University to read geography with two A*s and an A and a bursary for the elite distance runners’ coaching programme.

Immanuel College in Bushey reported 87 per cent of grades between A* and B, with 31 per cent A* (one per cent higher than last year): 65 per cent of grades were A* to A and 87 per cent B or above.

Immanuel headmaster Gary Griffin praised students for working “diligently and effectively” despite the “great uncertainty in recent months”.

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