COSMO – Attainment and assessment

Think tank: The Sutton Trust

Author(s): Various Authors

May 26, 2023

This report from the UK think tank The Sutton Trust looks at young people’s perceptions of the assessment process in the academic year 2020/21.

This briefing from the first wave of the COVID social Mobilities and Opportunities (COSMO) study explores young people’s perceptions of the assessment process they went through in place of GCSE examinations in the academic year 2020/21, including how these differ depending on young people’s experiences. It looks directly at differences in young people’s performance in their teacher assessed grades to examine the extent of inequalities in their performance. It also looks at the performance of those who received small group or one-to-one tutoring as part of efforts to support their post-COVID education recovery, particularly compared to those who were offered but did not take up tutoring of this kind. The data reveals that over a third of exam students (34%) reported feeling that teachers were biased against certain groups in their teacher assessments, with students from ethnic-minority and disadvantaged backgrounds most likely to feel this way.