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Dear Ofqual…

  • 15 August 2019
  • By Dennis Sherwood

Dear Ofqual,

Thank you for making your position on grade (un)reliability so explicit in the statement posted on your website on Sunday, 11 August. 

But may I seek clarification on some of the content, please?

Firstly, you state:

more than one grade could well be a legitimate reflection of a student’s performance and they would both be a sound estimate of that student’s ability at that point in time…

If this is indeed the case:

  • Why is only a single grade awarded, and why does only a single grade appear on the candidate’s certificate? 
  • What is the status of any other legitimate reflection of a student’s performance that does not appear on the certificate?
  • How many other legitimate grades might there be? 
  • What advice would you offer university admissions officers (and indeed all others who might take grades into consideration) as to how best to take this statement into account when seeking to make fair decisions, especially in today’s climate of recognising the importance of contextual admissions?

Secondly, you also state:

This is not new…

If so:

  • Why have you not long since solved the problem?
  • And, most importantly, why have you not hitherto informed schools, universities, colleges, employers, parents and the students themselves that more than one grade could well be a legitimate reflection of a student’s performance is the true situation?

Yours sincerely ,


  1. Donna Chadwick says:

    Will you be posting the reply here?

  2. Hi Donna – Certainly!!! If I get one…

  3. Donna Chadwick says:

    I would certainly hope so considering who they are.

  4. …mmm…let’s see…

  5. Donna Chadwick says:

    Indeed we shall. It will certainly make them sit up and think that their publications are being scrutinised.

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