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Be Involved Blog

 

Bleadon Be Involved Blog is for anyone who would like to raise an issue about, affecting or concerning Bleadon Parish Area. Please send your information for a new blog item to us using the normal contact us page and we will add it as soon as possible then anyone can add comments to it. These comments can be made in your name or anonomously but we reserve the right to take down anything we consider inappropriate or likely to offend.

 

You may be interested in other Bleadon BOB pages: Parish Council , Parish Council Precept , Parish Plan and Issues. Also remember that historical posts can be viewed by selecting the drop down menu at the top of the blog home page. More Blogs on Whats New, Neighbourhood Watch, Events and Classified/Lost and Found. Also see new Action Group page.

 

Media interest from BBC, ITVSkyUK Column (& Archive), CNN, RT, Al Jezeera, and others.

 

For convenience, you can subscribe to RSS feeds from this page via email or by your own RSS reader, click for detail.

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Latest Posts

Local Plan Consultation Part 1

Posted on 22nd July, 2020

 

 

ConsultationOpensClosesInformation

North Somerset Local Plan 2038 Challenges and Choices Part 1

22 Jul 2002 Sep 20"A Local Plan sets out where developments can and cannot take place and ensures we get the right type of development in the right place with the right services and infrastructure ... This document is the first stage"

 

NB: Bleadon Parish will not be meeting before the deadline of this consultation, their next meeting is planned for 14 Sept 20.

 

North Somerset Council states:

"A new Local Plan for North Somerset is being prepared, which will guide housing, jobs and business investment, transport, community facilities and supporting infrastructure in the area until 2038.

 

The first stage of consultation in the new plan’s preparation focuses on the challenges and issues that need facing in North Somerset, such as the climate emergency, how and where to provide jobs and homes, our to ensure development is located in sustainable places, how to protect and enhance our green and blue space and the future role of the Green Belt.

 

This online consultation will run for six weeks from Wednesday 22 July to Wednesday 2 September 2020

 

Further information about the Local Plan can also be found at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/newlocalplan

 

Regular questions will also be raised across the council’s social media accounts on Facebook (www.facebook.com/NorthSomersetCouncil) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/NorthSomersetC) to spark discussion and encourage feedback. All replies made on council-run social media profiles will be analysed and added to the consultation responses.

 

The responses received to this consultation will guide the next stage of the Local Plan, focussing on choices about the location of future development.

 

There will be many more opportunities to get involved and have your say in future - but now is the time to really influence the development of the new Local Plan for North Somerset."

The response is to be published 26 Oct 20.

 

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Previous Pre-Local Plan Consultation

Parish Council Second Zoom Meeting

Posted on 20th July, 2020

 

 

Parish Council's second virtual meeting via Zoom

 

Today, Monday 20 June 2020 at 7pm

 

Information

BPC Agenda-v2

BPC Agenda-v1

How?Zoom link
Meeting ID761 3989 7091
Password1NsUUE

 

Bleadon Parish Council's latest Zoom meeting was discovered earlier this evening.

 

There was no notice on the parish notice boards, BOB did not receive the usual notification from the clerk, but a revised agenda was found on the BPC website, although the date of the signature was 6 July, the same as the original? (see above)

 

After waiting over 30 minutes into the meeting BOB was finally let into the discussions, which was attended by five counclllors, the clerk, BOB and one other resident. The meeting was stopped several times due to technical hitches where attendees were 'dropped' out, but the meeting continued to its conclusion at 9pm. 

 

After last month's meeting some information was made available before the meeting, such as Planning Applicatiions and some Correspondence Listing. As with the last meeting, some documents were referenced but were not accessible to the public, either prior or at the meeting. 

 

(BOB Notes soon)

 

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Previous Notes on BPC First Zoom Meeting

Purn Way 14 Dwellings Refused

Posted on 19th July, 2020

 

The "Outline application for the proposed erection of 14no. dwellings with matters of appearance, landscaping and scale reserved for subsequent approval" has been REFUSED - 17 July 2020 (18/P/5035/OUT )

"The proposal is not on a site allocated for development in the North Somerset Sites and Policies Plan Part 2 - Site Allocations and falls outside the settlement boundary of an infill settlement. The proposal is therefore contrary to policies CS14 and CS33 of the North Somerset Core Strategy where development is strictly controlled in order to protect the character of the rural area and prevent unsustainable development." (Decision Notice, Delegated Report)

This again shows the importance of Bleadon's Settlement Boundary and the importance of why residents should consider responding to the North Somerset Local Plan Consulation due this year.

 

Strangely the Delegated Report also states:

"Bleadon is an infill village and is covered by a Neighbourhood Plan which does not identify the site for development purposes"

Yet residents have only seen an initial survey?

 

Bleadon Parish Council seems to have placed little importance on the Settlement Boundary over the last few years (most notably unopposing the large scale caravan park development). Considerations:

May 2009 (Min 213.27.4) Bleadon's Parish Plan was adopted.

Feb 2009 - a leaflet with a "summary of [103] key points from the Bleadon Action Plan 2009" was published, which states,"Through the Planning process vigorously question all development outside the Village Settlement … Ensure that all new development remains within the Village Settlement Boundary"

Apr APM 2017 Mins (Open Forum) states that "The Clerk confirmed once more that he could not find a copy of a [adopted] Parish Plan" and that the plan as "obsolete"?

23 July 2017 Settlement Boundary Update - "A Parishioner asked about North Somerset Core Strategy / Settlement Boundary and Bleadon regarded as an Infill Village. The Chairman asked Cllr Porter to provide an update on the Core Strategy. Cllr Porter provided an update on the core strategy and highlighted that remitted policies only provide limited weight and there is currently not a settlement boundary at this present time for Bleadon." (Min 297.4i)

 

05 Dec 2018 Settlement Boundary Review Consultation - BOB has approached BPC expressing our concern at the lack of BPC public consultation and information on this issue over the last 3 months. The change or loss of this Settlement Boundary could potentially make Bleadon a Service Village, i.e. the same as Backwell, ...  BPC has chosen not to raise and discuss this issue over the last 3 months, in its previous 4 publicly held meetings, but instead has decided to add it to their 10 Dec Agenda (Min 317.12), i.e. after the public deadline for comments.

 

02 Apr 20 New pre-Local Plan Consultation - This phased consultation, aiming for implementation in January 2023, will affect the future of Bleadon as a Settlement/Infill Village, any Bleadon Neighbourhood Development Plan and the level of development that is expected to be built in Bleadon ... NB: There appears to be no submission by BPC, which is surprising seeing as it has been working on a Bleadon Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) for nearly three years and proposed five unidentified anecdotal sites in their 2018-19 (pg2) and 2019-20 (Q26) NDP grant applications.

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See previous Purn Way Application

 

See BOB Consultations Table

 

 

 

A member of the public kindly forwarded a document in response to the BOB blog 'Government Exemptions for using Face Masks on Public Transport'. Below is an extract from the World Health Organisations 'Advice on the use of masks in the context of COVID-19' (05 June 20).

 

"Potential harms/disadvantages

The likely disadvantages of the use of mask by healthy people in the general public include:

  • potential increased risk of self-contamination due to the manipulation of a face mask and subsequently touching eyes with contaminated hands;
  • potential self-contamination that can occur if non-medical masks are not changed when wet or soiled. This can create favourable conditions for microorganism to amplify;
  • potential headache and/or breathing difficulties, depending on type of mask used;
  • potential development of facial skin lesions, irritant dermatitis or worsening acne, when used frequently for long hours;
  • difficulty with communicating clearly;
  • potential discomfort;
  • a false sense of security, leading to potentially lower adherence to other critical preventive measures such as physical distancing and hand hygiene;
  • poor compliance with mask wearing, in particular by young children;
  • waste management issues; improper mask disposal leading to increased litter in public places, risk of contamination to street cleaners and environment hazard;
  • difficulty communicating for deaf persons who rely on lip reading;
  • disadvantages for or difficulty wearing them, especially for children, developmentally challenged persons, those with mental illness, elderly persons with cognitive impairment, those with asthma or chronic respiratory or breathing problems, those who have had facial trauma or recent oral maxillofacial surgery, and those living in hot and humid environments"

[NOTE 1: Consider those with asthma, already struggling to breathe without a mask, "There are 5.4 million people in the UK living with asthma , around 1 million have ‘difficult’ asthma which includes an estimated 200,000 adults and children in the UK with ‘severe’ asthma."  That’s around one in twelve of us.

 

NOTE 2: Consider people who are deaf or hard of hearing that rely on lip reading in order to 'hear', "There are 12 million people with hearing loss across the UK, that’s around one in six of us"]

 

"Potential benefits/advantages

The likely advantages of the use of masks by healthy people in the general public include:

  • reduced potential exposure risk from infected persons before they develop symptoms;
  • reduced potential stigmatization of individuals wearing masks to prevent infecting others (source control) or of people caring for COVID-19 patients in non-clinical settings;(70)
  • making people feel they can play a role in contributing to stopping spread of the virus;
  • reminding people to be compliant with other measures (e.g., hand hygiene, not touching nose and mouth). However, this can also have the reverse effect (see [above]);
  • potential social and economic benefits. Amidst the global shortage of surgical masks and PPE, encouraging the public to create their own fabric masks may promote individual enterprise and community integration. Moreover, the production of non-medical masks may offer a source of income for those able to manufacture masks within their communities. Fabric masks can also be a form of cultural expression, encouraging public acceptance of protection measures in general. The safe re-use of fabric masks will also reduce costs and waste and contribute to sustainability."
  • [How do these suggestions help the small businesses and high street shops that are losing customers to online large businesses due to enforced COVID19 related government policies?]

"If masks are recommended for the general public, the decision-maker should:

  • clearly communicate the purpose of wearing a mask, where, when, how and what type of mask should be worn. Explain what wearing a mask may achieve and what it will not achieve, and communicate clearly that this is one part of a package of measures along with hand hygiene, physical distancing and other measures that are all necessary and all reinforce each other;
  • inform/train people on when and how to use masks safely (see mask management and maintenance sections), i.e. put on, wear, remove, clean and dispose;
  • consider the feasibility of use, supply/access issues, social and psychological acceptance (of both wearing and not wearing different types of masks in different contexts);
  • continue gathering scientific data and evidence on the effectiveness of mask use (including different types and makes as well as other face covers such as scarves) in non-health care settings;
  • evaluate the impact (positive, neutral or negative) of using masks in the general population (including behavioral and social sciences)."

"WHO encourages countries and community adopting policies on masks use in the general public to conduct good quality research to assess the effectiveness of this intervention to prevent and control transmission." Hopefully this information and research will be publicly accessilbe by the UK government ASAP.

 

The WHO also gives a table of examples (below) of where the general public should be encouraged to use medical and non-medical masks in areas with known or suspected community transmission. They refer to grocery stores, at work, social gatherings, closed settings, including schools, churches, mosques, social works, cashiers, servers, people >60 years, and more. 

 

 

What will our society look like if the full table below is implemented in the UK? There have already been tens of thousands of deaths caused by the Lockdown itself due to the polices, practices, restrictions and removal of NHS services, with many more expected as the NHS waiting expects to hit 10 million people. (NB there have been 45K COVID19 attributed deaths in the UK to date, with 66 today).

 

What will be the effect of this masking on the population's natural immunity? If you have information on clinical studies please send to BOB, so that it can be shared with everyone.

 

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See also UK Government 'Exemptions to wearing a face covering where they are mandate' (14 July 20), which reiterate the exemptions previously posted on BOB at 'Government Exemptions for using Face Masks on Public Transport'.

 

BOB Key COVID19 Information Highlights 

 

BOB Coronavirus Information 

 

BOB non-mainstream COVID1984 information 

 

 

 

 

 

There are very real and distressing effects of the government's NHS Test & Trace program. It has already directly led to local people being verbally, publicly, socially and emotionally 'attacked' by other members of the public, particularly through the use of social media.

 

In neighbouring Burnham-on-Sea an unexpected COVID19 test result closed at least 3 small businesses, locked-up an unknown number of people, and left some people and their family members victimised and emotionally scarred. 

A man in Burnham took a COVID19 test, stating “I thought: I’ll take a test so I’d know if I got it at work”. This led to him testing 'positive' and subsequently informing the people he had met, and the places he had visited, over the previous days. 

 

A pub landlady who was contacted broke 'protocol' and took it upon the business to phone up "90 people to warn them that a weekend customer had tested positive for coronavirus" and was subsequently seemingly praised by the community and the press.

 

An Indian takeaway who was contacted stated "It saddens us to tell you all that due to unforeseen circumstances, we are closing [the] ... takeaway up until Friday ... This is because one of the drivers has been in the same pub as the person who has tested positive to Covid-19"

 

A vape shop who was contacted tried to follow 'protocol' stating, “... as soon as I got the message about the positive test result on Sunday, I immediately closed the bar, locked up and spoke with the NHS and Police who informed us of the correct steps, all of which we have followed. Sadly, having done this the woman and her family were later "hounded, with some in the town furious that she had reopened the bar on Monday. She claims her 18-year-old daughter fled from a supermarket in the town after other shoppers yelled that she was “infected” and should be in isolation. It got so bad that Underhill resigned from her other job as an HR manager for a manufacturing company on Tuesday. “I’m having to shield my staff from abuse and look after my family. There’s no way at the moment I can do all of that while working full time,”" Later, the woman posted on social media, "So in one day I have been called skanky, vile, greedy, irresponsible, a liar, a whore, lazy, selfish, attention seeking, a fraud and a cxxx wow can't wait to see what tomorrow brings".

 

The man who tested positive, "...who suffers from anxiety, came off Facebook to escape what he felt was a torrent of abuse. “I couldn’t handle seeing it"" The phoning around, the contacting NHS Test & Trace, and the social media frenzy resulted in the positively tested man experiencing, ""... wild, unfounded rumours [that] were starting to spread around the town, fuelled by fear and anger on social media. Some claimed [the man] had known he was infected before heading out or that he worked in a care home. Others swore he had visited every pub in the town. His identity became an open secret, discussed in cafes, shops and street corners. Comments branding him “totally irresponsible”, “ignorant and selfish” and calling for him “to be jailed for not listening” appeared on the social media pages of the two pubs"

 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock subsequently publicly stated, "This is NHS Test and Trace working precisely as intended" Really, is this the anti-social, divisive and destructive behaviour that government wants! If so, why? What will be the consequential effect on local businesses, and their associated social communities, as people move their custom online through fear? 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock also praised "businesses for "doing the right thing by their customers and by their communities" by closing". Has anyone heard of any large multi-national supermarkets/businesses shutting down voluntarily, or being asked/forced to close by Track & Trace?  Or government breakdown statistics on how many businesses have closed, what type of business, for how long, and affecting how many staff, and how many were sadly hospitalised and later died? If so, please send BOB the information. 

 

This is the reality of the type of community that the government Lockdown(up), masks and fearmongering has created and is continuing to encourage, seemingly without regard to the consequentlal physical, mental, social and emotional health effects. The mandated and/or encouraged use of masks/face coverings will exacerbate this type of stress on our communities and local businesses, as people may, inappropriately and illegally (?), enforce the use of masks

 

What type of society are we living in that thinks that this sort of 'social communication' and bullying is acceptable? What are our children seeing, hearing, thinking and feeling as they are also forced to sit 2m away from their friends? How much worse will this get when people start to shout from behind the safety of a 'mask' that obscures their face?

 

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATON

 

Test Track and Trace Isolates 88K by Second Week of Operation 

 

BOB Key COVID19 Information Highlights 

 

BOB Coronavirus Information 

 

BOB non-mainstream COVID1984 information 

 

 

Click to enlarge image

 

On 15 June 2020 it became law that you must wear a face covering when travelling via public transport in England (PDF). Strangely it seems that viruses, such as COVID19, do not affect people who offer or use "a school transport service" or "a taxi or private hire vehicle service", as they are exempt from this law? (Para 2.2)

 

From the government guidance "safer travel guidance for passengers ... during the coronavirus outbreak - Exemptions - people who do not have to wear a face covering" :

"You ... do not need to wear a face covering if you have a good reason not to. This includes: ... if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering would cause you severe distress" (Guidance & PDF 

This raised and continues to raise so many unanswered questions:

How is this proven so as not to be fined or 'attacked' by mask-wearing members of the public? Is a doctor's appointment and written letter required?

 

If there are medical breathing reasons for exemptions, e.g. asthma, then surely that implies mask wearing does restrict your breathing and has an adverse effect on your health?

 

Why are enforcement officers considered safe from the virus and exempt from wearing masks?

 

Why are there blanket exemptions for some people in jobs but not others? How are these people safe from catching the virus but general public is not?

E.g. The following are exempt with regards to travel - an employee of a transport operator, any other person providing services to the transport operator, a constable or police community support officer, an emergency responder - paramedic or fire officer and a border force officer.   

 

If the majority of indoor places are deemed safe, why are masks needed in shops, especially now as Lockdown is being lifted?

 

Will masks also be required in schools, offices, pubs, even outdoor sports areas in the future?

Is this the end of public social gatherings e.g. pubs, places of worship, sports events, etc. Will this finally kill the high street, with consequential loss of jobs, and see a cashless society as advantaged people move to online shopping? 

 

Also see:

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Related post Mask Wearing Notice of Conditional Acceptance

Click to enlarge image

 

The following response and approach any mandated and/or suggested use of masks is taken from a facebook post supported by 7 long term effects from wearing a mask , 9 side effects of wearing face masksSide effetcts of wearing a mask and 'What can happen from prolonged use of wearing a N95 mask" (PDF

"Notice of Conditional Acceptance (PDF download)

 

This is to notify you that I am happy to wear a mask as directed, stand two metres apart or participate in a lockdown on the condition that you provide the following:

  1. Proof that use of such masks social distancing or lockdown can prevent the inhalation of substances or micro-organisms at the scale of “viruses”.
  2. Proof that prolonged use of such a mask will NOT cause Hypercapnia, Hypercarbia or Respiratory Acidosis in the wearer.
  3. A signed and witnessed statement from you, accepting full responsibility and full commercial liability should I be subsequently diagnosed with Hypercapnia, Hypercarbia or suffer an Asthmatic attack or any other respiratory or physical and mental health distress resulting from prolonged mask wearing, social distancing lockdown or being two metres apart.
  4. A complete list of your medical qualifications. Please use the space below to provide the requested proofs of claim and sign and date it in the appropriate boxes to accept full responsibility and full commercial liability.

Failure to do so will be deemed to mean no such proof exists and that you are not medically qualified to make a determination of the effects of prolonged mask use, social distancing in lockdown or being two metres apart from others and/or you are not confident enough to take financial responsibility for my safety as a result of your mask social distancing or lockdown enforcement actions.

 

Please provide the requested proof and medical qualifications here: Liability Statement I, ………………………………. as the official enforcing the unlawful wearing of masks according to parliamentary preference, am fully aware that prolonged use of surgical and non-surgical masks reduces the levels of Oxygen that reach the wearer and increases the dangerous levels of Carbon Dioxide and toxins that are expelled via the breath. I am also aware that prolonged mask use increases the risk of Hypercapnia, Hypercarbia, Asthma and other forms of respiratory distress I therefore accept full responsibility and full commercial liability should the bearer experience, or be subsequently diagnosed with, any of the above conditions as a result of prolonged mask use social distancing or lockdown.

 

Signed in the presence of three witnesses:

 

Dr/Mr/Ms. ……………………………………… Signature ………………….…………….………..

Address …………………………………………….…………..………………….………………………………..… ………………..………………….………………………..………………….……………………………….………... Date ………….………….……………..........

Witness ……………………………………………. Signature ………………….……………….…………..

Address …………………………………………….…………..………………….………………………………..…"

 

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See related Government exemptions for using Face Masks on public transport

 

The government has released a NHS Experimental Statistical Report (PDF) - "Note that figures for last week’s release have been revised". Also "To ensure consistent reporting across all pillars we have paused reporting the number of people tested due to an issue with the data for pillar 2" i.e. swab testing for the wider population (Test Types - PDF 21JUN20):

"In total, since 28 May 2020: 14,045 people who tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) had their case transferred to the contact tracing system, of whom 72.6% (10,192 people) were reached and asked to provide details of their recent close contacts. 87,639 people were identified as close contacts [and asked to self-isolate] and reached through the contract tracing system out of 96,746 reported (90.6%)." (BBC article 18JUN20) i.e. one anonymous person testing positive results in 9 people in lockdown. 

So who are these contacts that are within the 2m social distance, for more that 15 minutes, that are not household members?

 

The following is from NHS Trace & Trace How it Works: (11JUN20 PDF): They will ask you:

  • "if you have family members or other household members living with you. In line with the medical advice they must remain in self-isolation for the rest of the 14-day period from when your symptoms began
  • ["Your household doesn’t need to self-isolate with you, if you do not have symptoms, but they must take extra care to follow the guidance on social distancing and handwashing and avoid contact with you at home "
  • if you have had any close contact with anyone other than members of your household. We are interested in in the 48 hours before you developed symptoms and the time since you developed symptoms.
  • Close contact means:
  • having face-to-face contact with someone (less than 1 metre away)
  • spending more than 15 minutes within 2 metres of someone
  • travelling in a car or other small vehicle with someone (even on a short journey) or close to them on a plane
  • if you work in – or have recently visited – a setting with other people (for example, a GP surgery, a school or a workplace)
  • We will ask you to provide, where possible, the names and contact details (for example, email address, telephone number) for the people you have had close contact with."

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See previous Test Track and Trace Isolates 27K in its First Week of Operation 

 

See Check your mobile phone for a Track and Trace API  

 

See Weston Hospital Closed due to COVID19  

 

See BOB Coronavirus Information page 

Notes on BPC First Zoom Meeting

Posted on 21st June, 2020

 

In the absence of any notification of the published minutes, or any further release of information, here are BOB notes of the Bleadon Parish Council Zoom meeting on 08 June 2020:

  • It took several attempts to join the meeting
  • Unfortunately, the sound quality was very poor, it was hard to hear and/or record the meeting, hence brief overview notes.
  • My request to 'record' through the Zoom facility went unanswered.
  • The Clerk and five councillors attended the meeting.
  • No other members of the public attended, although BOB is aware that at least one other member of the public tried to attend but they were held in the Zoom 'waiting room' for over half an hour, and ultimately were not allowed to enter the meeting.
  • No documents were shared on screen when they were discussed.
  • Councillors again discussed land that didn't belong to them, showing the Asset Register was not used by councillors before making complaints against fellow councillors, or members of the public.
  • Later in the meeting when discussing the Audit submission it was agreed that the Asset Register was 'incomplete, inaccurate and not properly maintained'- Section H on AGAR submission and was therefore ticked as 'NO'. In the absence of the document discussed at the meeting see previous 2018-19 submission. (This issue was raised at last year's Audit, with questions still remaining unanswered).
  • The Internal Auditor also highlighted the need to review the BPC 'Risk Assessment' to ensure Internal Compliance Objective 20? (This issue was raised at last year's Audit, with questions still remaining unanswered).
  • It was clear that budget headings were fluid, with money being transferred between projects, and that it was unclear what was precisely was being spent under each budget heading. (This issue was raised at last year's Audit, with questions still remaining unanswered).
  • It seems the BPC Grant Policy does not need to be used if councillors/clerk call it a donation or a financial contribution?
  • There seems to be a lack of clarity as to BPC project leadership, and internal/public feedback and accountability.
  • Ipads - Clerk stated that they were not bought for video-conferencing ability, but for document viewing? Some councillors were not using their ipads as they did not work as expected, and so the Clerk was tasked with returning and/or reconfiguring them?

More updates will be posted by BOB if and when the information is released by BPC.

 

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See previous Bleadon Councils First Virtual Zoom Meeting  

 

 

Click to enlarge images

 

The following extracts are from the article "GCSE results 2020: A look at the grades proposed by schools" (15 JUN 20 PDF):

"... at the top level, this year’s teacher-assessed grades are higher than those awarded in 2019 exams. In every subject we’ve looked at, the average grade proposed for 2020 is higher than the average grade awarded last year. In most subjects, the difference is between 0.3 and 0.6 grades ... Of the 24 subjects we’ve looked at, in 10 of them there’s a difference of half a grade or more between the average proposed grade for 2020 and the average grade awarded in 2019." [Example: English Language Results Comparison graph]"

 

"Consequently, it seems likely that Ofqual and the exam boards will have to apply statistical moderation to the grades submitted by schools, bringing them down on average."

 

Other extracts: 

"Over the past fortnight, secondary schools in England have submitted centre assessment grades for their Year 11 pupils to the exam boards. This has happened in response to GCSEs being cancelled this year. Coming up with these grades has been a huge undertaking for teachers – one done with minimal guidance and training."

 

"The next step is moderation by exam boards, before grades are issued to pupils in August. But an exercise carried out by FFT gives an indication of the challenges facing Ofqual and the exam boards. Between 28 April and 1 June, FFT ran a statistical moderation service which allowed schools to submit preliminary centre assessment grades they were proposing for their pupils."

 

"... take a look at some of the main findings from the service, based on the data of more than 1,900 schools – over half of all state secondaries in England – which had submitted results when the service ended on 1 June. That’s the date on which the window for secondary schools to submit their proposed grades to the exam boards opened – though it’s worth saying that we don’t know if schools will have submitted the same data to the exam boards as that which we’re analysing here. They may have used the reports they were provided with to amend the mix of grades they were proposing."

 

"... at the top level, this year’s teacher-assessed grades are higher than those awarded in 2019 exams. In every subject we’ve looked at, the average grade proposed for 2020 is higher than the average grade awarded last year. In most subjects, the difference is between 0.3 and 0.6 grades ... Of the 24 subjects we’ve looked at, in 10 of them there’s a difference of half a grade or more between the average proposed grade for 2020 and the average grade awarded in 2019." [Example: English Language Results Comparison graph]

 

"Consequently, it seems likely that Ofqual and the exam boards will have to apply statistical moderation to the grades submitted by schools, bringing them down on average. This will be a hugely complex task, the likes of which have never been done before. As well as proposed grades, schools were required to submit rank orderings of their pupils, and it seems likely that these will be used to shift some pupils down from one grade to the next."

 

"Reflecting on the difficult task faced by schools. It’s worth taking a moment to consider the difficulty of the task that schools had, and think about why their proposed grades were higher than those awarded last year. All things said and done, then, schools have had an incredibly difficult task – albeit one matched in difficulty by that now facing the exam boards and Ofqual."

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Previous COVID related Exam articles 

 

See also BOB Coronavirus Information page