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King Edward VI School incorrectly cited in The Sunday Times article

On Sunday afternoon, we were made aware that King Edward’s was being cited, alongside a number of other schools, by the Sunday Times in an article with the headline ‘Private schools ‘gamed’ Covid to boost grades’. In this article, the Sunday Times claimed that KES had seen a more than doubling of A* GCSE grades (or the equivalent 9 and 8 grades) from 2019 to 2021. This article has been reproduced by the newspaper on-line, and is receiving comments on social media platforms.

It is extremely unfortunate that the Sunday Times have included KES in this article, as the figures they quote for our School are, quite simply, wrong. They have erroneously compared the A* (9/8) grades from 2019 with the A*/A (9/8/7) grades from 2021. If the Sunday Times had used the correct figures, then they would have known that KES had like-for-like grade inflation of less than 10%, rather than the 100% or more figure actually cited. The reality is that KES had grade inflation broadly in line with the national average.

It is a pity that inaccurate reporting in this article is painting a false picture. Our teachers worked extremely hard to ensure that all grade submissions not only fulfilled the regulations and criteria set out by the Government, but were as fair to every candidate as is possible under such difficult circumstances. We asked our candidates to sit full examinations, and vigorously moderated and standardised all assessments. The workload and pressure involved was considerable, as it was for teachers across the country. It is a great shame that this is being undermined by an article which is wildly inaccurate.

The editor has now sent an apology to the School and updated the website.