Week Ahead: A-Level results and arrival of Glorious Twelfth to cause controversy

A-Level results day will be even more nerve-wracking than usual, while the Glorious Twelfth will divide opinions again. Chris Burn looks into the week ahead.

A-Level results are due on Thursday. Picture: PA

TESTING TIMES

A-Levels results day arrives on Thursday but there is likely to be even more tension and nerves this year than usual for students and parents.After the coronavirus crisis resulted in the cancellation of exams, teachers have submitted estimated grades based on previous results, predicted attainment and evidence of past work. Exams boards are then combining those projections with a statistical model based on their school’s past results in a moderation process developed with qualifications regulator Ofqual.

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But there are growing concerns of a repeat of the situation in Scotland, where over 90 per cent of all moderated grades were downgraded by the Scottish Qualifications Authority, with the process reducing the pass rate of the poorest Higher pupils by more than twice that of the richest.

Last week, Ofqual said schools will be able to appeal if they can show results do not reflect recent improvements or if they can show evidence a particular year group has an exceptional group of pupils. However, individual students will not be able to challenge their grades.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has said: “It is vital that students with exceptional circumstances are not held back by the way grades have been calculated.”

VJ DAY ANNIVERSARY

A series of special events will mark the 75th anniversary of VJ Day this Saturday to honour those who served in the Far East.

Imperial War Museums will release a new instalment of Voices of War, first-hand testimonies include Sidney Lawrence, who was a British Prisoner of War.

The Duke of Edinburgh, who was on board the destroyer HMS Whelp moored in Tokyo Bay, a warship he served on as second-in-command and which was present when Japanese officials signed the surrender on the USS Missouri, will be part of the commemorations.

He will feature on large screens in locations across the country in a poignant photo montage alongside other Second World War veterans, with each pictured with an image of themselves from their time in service.

Charles and Camilla will lead a two minute silence at 11am on VJ Day at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

DEATH OR GLORY

The grouse shooting season returns again on Wednesday, but as ever the Glorious Twelfth will be strongly dividing opinion.

Since the Game Act of 1831, August 12 has been enshrined in law as the start of the shooting season for red grouse and is traditionally one of the busiest days in the shooting calendar.

Its supporters in Yorkshire insist the 16-week season keeps thousands of people in jobs, ensures the county’s moorland stays diverse with wildlife and contributes more than £2bn to the national economy.

But detractors including the RSPB believe the practice is dangerous for the environment, due to the destruction of habitat and the killing of birds of prey.

ROYAL RUMBLE

The much-anticipated publication of a new book about Harry and Meghan’s decision to leave their royal duties behind for a new life in America will take place on Tuesday.

Finding Freedom, by royal commentators Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, has already been in the headlines after being serialised in The Times and The Sunday Times.

In what should be a happier occasion for the Royal Family, Princess Anne will celebrate her 70th birthday on Saturday.

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