Sixth form denies knowledge of alleged A Level 'no confidence vote'

Havering College of Further and Higher Education is merging with Havering Sixth Form College and New

Havering College of Further and Higher Education is merging with Havering Sixth Form College and New City College. Picture: Havering College of Further and Higher Education - Credit: Archant

A Havering sixth form has denied knowledge of a union's alleged vote of no confidence after A Level grading controversy at the school.

According to a National Education Union (NEU) spokesperson, its members from New City College’s (NCC) Havering sixth form voted against supporting the senior management's moderation of grades submitted by teachers, which were issued instead of exams amid the Covid pandemic.  

This follows protests from parents calling for the grades to be reviewed.

However, a spokesperson for Havering sixth form said the college has not been served with "any motion nor issued with meeting minutes or a ratified vote outcome". 

They added: "We have heard that some union communication took place over WhatsApp but we have seen no records. Somebody at the NEU has decided to approach the press before approaching college managers, which is disappointing."

A spokesperson for the NEU claimed the NCC NEU members have also called for an independent investigation into the A Level grades situation.  

They added: "Staff are concerned about NCC’s ability to manage the college. The debacle over teacher-assessed grades being downgraded by the management team shows no confidence in the staff or understanding of the assessment context in 2021."

Within the alleged vote of no confidence, as this newspaper was told by the NEU, members claimed the grade adjustments were “blunt” and used an “unfair process" which "did not allow for a holistic judgement of a student to be applied". 

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They allegedly said it “resulted in unnecessary distress for students and their families”, and claimed it brought the college into “disrepute”.

The college's spokesperson disagreed, saying the "campus is an open environment, with managers available for any member of staff to talk to". 

They added: "The A Level grading process has been explained repeatedly to staff. Despite the unprofessionalism of some NEU members, the management team is committed to maintaining positive working relations with staff across the college."