Spent today at two colleges in Brighton talking to A-Level/BTec students... @RoedeanSchool
@varndean ...it was uplifting! Yes grades have been inflated, but that is a) unavoidable without public exams b) better than the blind algorithm /1 #ALevelResults

@RoedeanSchool @varndean Why unavoidable? Because with no-one sitting exams, no-one has a 'bad day' or a 'good day'...so grades can only be awarded on the maximum potential of each student. Otherwise teachers are guessing/playing God. Each students has a 'basket of evidence' backing up their grade /2
@RoedeanSchool @varndean The result? About 45 per cent got A*/A which is crazy -- but surely better than the algorithm that discriminated (among other things) on class sizes. So (poorer) schools with bigger classes got marked down/3
@RoedeanSchool @varndean That was crippling for schools like Varndean College - a hugely mixed intake college where some students get max 45 Points in the International Bac and some work hard to get any Level 3 qualifications. It also privileged already privileged schools like Roedean /4
@RoedeanSchool @varndean That said, the bloat clearly causes problem -- unis with too many top grades, lack of differentiation and how to bring the grade boundaries 'back to earth' as we go back to (possibly truncated) exams in 2022 and full exams thereafter (please God, Pandemic willing) /5
@RoedeanSchool @varndean But everyone should cool their jets about rampant grade inflation -- there was a once-in-a-century #covid-19 pandemic on and ultimately these grades are just gateways to the next stage. The wrinkles will ironed out. /6
@RoedeanSchool @varndean As Martin Ballard, the head of history at Varndean put it: “I hope what doesn’t get lost here is that these kids have been through a double lockdown, with all that that entails. I just think they’re a very impressive set of young people.”

Ave to that. ENDS

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More from @pmdfoster

20 Jul
Ex EU commission Sir Jonathan Faull floats again the idea of “mutual enforcement” as a solution to the NI protocol #brexit stand off:

“A dual autonomy approach would help with the Northern Ireland protocol” via @FT /1
@FT This idea broadly relies on either side enforcing the others laws...two separate, sovereign jurisdiction operating side by side to protect each other. It has long been favoured by Brexiters of ERG...but is hated by the EU. /2
@FT Here is old ERG-backed paper on the idea from Feb 21...it has been totally rejected by EU, but Brexiters continue to work on the plan, with legal advice from lawyers such as @jamesrwebber /3

Read 9 tweets
19 Jul
🚨🚨🇬🇧🇪🇺💉🦼🩺🏥😷🇪🇺🇬🇧🚨🚨Medical devices industry tests UK plans for post-Brexit divergence via @FT …this is the real front line of post #brexit U.K. Theoretical upsides, but practical obstacles. Stay with me. /1
@FT So what are we talking about? Medical devices - stents, implants, urine testers etc etc. Can the UK have it's own post-#Brexit regulatory regime? (Sure) Can that regime pay a dividend that makes UK hub for innovation, development, growth (Trickier). /2
The background is the EU introduced new Medical Devices Regulation in May after load of scandals (breast implants failing etc) ...but UK isn't following MDR, but is starting consultation on new UK regs designed to grasp "opportunity" of #Brexit /3

Read 14 tweets
16 Jul
Q: how does the West keep China as rival, not allow it to become an enemy?

Annual #Ditchley Lecture by @TurnbullMalcolm ponders this -- break out the deck chair, put up the parasol and give this a read. Fascinating and thoughtful. /1

@TurnbullMalcolm What do you do when Western democracy is being assailed by destructive forces of populism (recalls storming of US Capitol) and China is getting ever-more assertive of its rival, autocratic system -- but for trade, for global problem solving (climate eg) we need China /2
How should our universities interact with China to deepen relations without opening door to technology theft, students getting in trouble back home? /3
Read 5 tweets
9 Jul
It's OUT!! My weekly #Brexit Briefing for @ft
This week: the transition from "CE" safety marks (u see them on everything) to "UKCA" marks - the UK's post-Brexit copycat version - which is creating pointless headaches for business...stay with me /1

@FT So what's this about? Well, as an expression of UK sovereignty after #Brexit the UK decided that it wanted its own equivalent of a CE mark -- even tho it remained part of European Standards Organisation which co-ordinates standards -- so UKCA was born /2

@FT Since standards are the same, and most businesses (in non risky sectors) can "self-certify", you might think this is just what @SamuelMarcLowe calls "performative divergence" -- just for #brexit show and a bit of harmless form-filling. Alas not. /3
Read 15 tweets
2 Jul
🚨🚨🇬🇧🇪🇺🇬🇧🇪🇺🇬🇧 🚨🚨EXC Johnson’s post-Brexit trade policy faces first High Court test via @FT - one for #brexit and trade wonks, but fascinating and a case that will be widely watched per ⁦@AlexanderPHRose⁩ —
Stay with me/1 on.ft.com/2UkXnhZ
@FT @AlexanderPHRose So first the case. It stems from a decision last December by @trussliz to unilaterally allow 260,000 tonnes of "raw cane sugar" to enter the UK tariff-free, for one year. So far, so simple /2

@FT @AlexanderPHRose @trussliz But British Sugar Plc @BritishSugar has gone to court to argue that this 'autonomous' quota is a de facto subsidy to their US-owned rival Tate & Lyle Sugars @TateLyleSugars because T&L is the ONLY company in UK that refines *cane* sugar -- BS uses homegrown sugar beet/3
Read 14 tweets
30 Jun
The UK Govt is announcing tabling legislation on it's new post-Brexit subsidy control regime today, which it says will be simpler/nimbler...here's @FinancialTimes report with help from @GeorgePeretzQC
@jamesrwebber -- but lots of questions unclear.../1

@FinancialTimes @GeorgePeretzQC @jamesrwebber This is an area where the UK -- because it no longer needs subsidy controls fit for yoking together 27 sovereign economies as in the EU single market situation -- can indeed be nimbler/quicker....see long #Brexit Briefing piece & thread on why/how here /2

We now need to see the detail of how the "Advice Unit" in the CMA is going to work -- what role it will play in decisions over potentially controversial subsidies "of interest" and "of particular interest"....and how those categories are going to be decided/3
Read 7 tweets

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