Joint independent school executives letter regarding Sunday Times article


The Sunday Times article headlined “Private schools ‘gamed’ Covid rules to give their pupils more top A-Levels” is simply untrue and undermines the results achieved by hard-working pupils in difficult circumstances.

Ofqual undertook analysis of all results rather than a small sample and in Ofqual’s own words: “Exam boards looked at student work from all types of school and college as part of the external quality assurance process. They did not find that any type of school or college was more likely than others to have provided grades that did not reflect the standard of their students’ work.”

Every school followed the same process – each one had to compile a portfolio of evidence supporting grading decisions and schools whose grade profile was unexpected were investigated. Very few schools of any type were asked to change grades because their grades were judged to be fair.

Having endured widespread disruption across the pandemic, exam year pupils need to be able to move forward with confidence in the grades they have achieved.


Donna Stevens, Chief Executive, Girls' Schools Association

Dr Simon Hyde, General Secretary, Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference

Christopher King, Chief Executive, Independent Association of Preparatory Schools

Rudolf Eliott Lockhart, Chief Executive Officer, Independent Schools Association

Clive Rickart, CEO, The Society of Heads

Richard Harman, Chief Executive, Association of Governing Bodies of Independent Schools

David Woodgate, Chief Executive, Independent Schools Bursars Association

Julie Robinson, Chief Executive, Independent Schools Council