Thank you for writing to me about the International Baccalaureate (IB) results and the contrast with the approach taken to A-levels.
I have said for some time that one of the biggest negative impacts on lockdown has been on childrens’ schooling, and for none moreso than those who should have been taking life-changing exams this year. I believe that our schools can be reopened safely in September, and I am determined to see that happen to avoid any repeat of this year’s disruption.
Whilst I understand IB have said that average grades have increased this year under their calculation system, ultimately any automated calculation system for grades faces the same problems as were seen with this year’s A-level results before the government accepted centre assessed grades.
I have raised the concerns of my constituents regarding the way the IB has been calculated this year with the Secretary of State for Education, and in particular the issue of ensuring a level playing field with pupils sitting A Levels given that two different grade calculation systems are now being used.
When it comes to the availability of courses, the government has rightly scrapped the cap on places. I have also been lobbying Universities UK and professional bodies to ask that universities show leniency to pupils given the unique circumstances this year.