Michael Brotherton quoted in Telegraph - can students make legal claims over predicted grades?

This summer schools and (by extension) teachers have the unprecedented task of putting forward to the exam boards their recommended grades for their pupils. As Stone King’s Michael Brotherton told the Telegraph (‘Aggrieved students could make legal claims over predicted grades’, printed 6 June 2020 and online);

Whilst it is still the exam boards that will decide the final grade, even so the door remains slightly ajar for pupils who feel they have been wrongly graded to take legal action against their school.

"There is potential for some significant push back from pupils and parents once results are published, perhaps believing that their exam grade is not a fair one. Whilst normally appeals would be made by the centre (the school) to exam boards on behalf of pupils, and indeed this can still happen, this year the schools are part of the grading process.

"If pupils are unhappy with their grades and feel it may be as a result of bias or incompetence by their teacher or their school, pupils will be able to access their personal data from their school after results are published and could use this as the basis for a legal challenge against the school.

"In reality, the courts are unlikely to find in favour of such claims because that would involve unpicking teachers’ professional judgement, which courts are historically reluctant to do, and in any event, a straightforward solution would be to resit an exam as soon as possible. Even though it’s very unlikely any claim would be successful, it is possible that there may be flurry of parents or pupils initiating a claim against their school with the potential that such claims could be publicly funded.

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