One in four teachers grading exams report feeling pressured by parents to change GCSE/A-level results, reveals survey

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29th July 2021 14:17 - Education

One in four teachers grading exams report feeling pressured by parents to change GCSE/A-level Results: A survey of teachers has found that a quarter have felt under pressure to alter GCSE or A-level grades due to parents.

The Tes survey was conducted to uncover how people in schools were affected by the decision that teachers were to mark exams in 2021. The study polled over 2,800 teachers who have been grading GCSE or A-levels.

Of the teachers who had felt pressured by parents, just 2% admit to giving in to the intimidation. However, over seven in 10 teachers (71%) say they have not felt any pressure to change grades, with 4% refusing to comment. Many teachers reported receiving threats of legal action from parents via email, if their children do not achieve the results they want.

When asked about whether it was only parents they felt pressured by, a third of teachers said their students had also been applying pressure. On the other hand, just under two thirds (64%) said they had not experienced their students attempting to boost grades, while 3% were unable to give an answer.

The research also found noticeable disparities between the amount of pressure felt by teachers at different types of school, with the demand from parents on teachers being greater in private schools than public institutions. A third of the 480 independent sector teachers stated they felt pressurised by parents to alter grades in comparison to one in four state school teachers.

Sarah Hannafin, senior policy advisor at the NAHT school leaders’ union, said: “The grades are the result of a collaborative process involving other teachers, senior leaders and internal and external quality-assurance checks. So, such pressure will not be successful. All it does is create more burdens and stress for school staff.”

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