United Kingdom

Pushy parents are 'badgering teachers' to award their children higher grades, study suggests 

Wealthy parents have been pressuring their children's teachers for good exam grades, putting poorer peers at a disadvantage.

One in five teachers at schools with affluent intakes said they had been nagged by pushy parents to award top GCSE and A-level grades, a survey by education charity the Sutton Trust found.

Teachers have had to decide all pupils' final grades after exams were cancelled for a second year because of the pandemic.

One in five teachers at schools with affluent intakes said they had been nagged by pushy parents to award top GCSE and A-level grades, a survey found (stock image)

Youngsters 'need a 5-a-day of sport' 

Children must be encouraged to be more active after lockdowns saw exercise levels plunge, MPs will warn today. Last year, 100,000 fewer met the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity a day, Sport England figures show.

A Commons committee said an equivalent of the 'five-a-day' fruit and veg campaign was needed. Covid had left the finances of grassroots sport 'in tatters', they added, and called for a 'Work Out to Help Out' scheme for adults 'to incentivise volunteers and participants to participate in organised sport'.

Julian Knight, Tory chairman of the Commons digital, culture, media and sport committee, said: 'Community sports clubs nurture Olympic medallists and bring joy to young and old. We cannot let them go to the wall.'

Some 23 per cent of private school teachers and 17 per cent of teachers at state schools in wealthy areas said they had been badgered to give better marks, according to the poll of 3,000 teachers.

In contrast, only 11 per cent of state school teachers in poorer areas reported being put under pressure. 

Applying such pressure is against the rules but some families have even threatened legal action. 

Sutton Trust founder Sir Peter Lampl said: 'It's vital that poorer students are not disadvantaged. 

'Universities should give additional consideration to disadvantaged students who just miss out on offer grades.'

But Geoff Barton, of headteachers' union ASCL, denied staff would be influenced by parents. 

He said: 'Grades are, of course, based on evidence of student performance rather than whose parents have the sharpest elbows.'

A Department for Education spokesman said: 'No teacher should be put under undue pressure and grades are subject to wider checks in schools and by exam boards.'

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