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Mishcon de Reya acts for students challenging the International Baccalaureate awards

Posted on 14 December 2020

Mishcon de Reya is acting for a number of students and their parents in a challenge, based on data protection grounds, to this year's International Baccalaureate awards.

Because students were unable to take the normal examinations because of COVID-19 restrictions, the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) decided initially to make awards in large part the basis of historical data unrelated to the individual students. They then changed their minds and decided to use a new and opaque assessment method. This new method effectively ignored the predictions of students' own teachers – those who know their abilities best – and resulted in manifestly unfair outcomes for a large number of students.

Partner Adam Rose, who represents the students, said:

"GDPR required the IBO to process our clients' personal data fairly, accurately and in a transparent way – but on all counts they failed to do so. This year's cohort of students have already had terrible disruption to their education from COVID-19, only to then have been treated appallingly by the IBO. Instead of ensuring the fairest possible outcome for students the IBO adopted an awarding model which may have been administratively convenient, but which fails in many cases to recognise and reflect students' academic ability.

Our clients have suffered significant distress as a result of IBO's conduct, and we are asking IBO to put this right, by reconsidering our clients' cases and giving proper regard to teacher predictions."

We have written to IBO on behalf of our clients, and are making the letter publicly available here.

If any other students, or their parents, wish to discuss the matter, they are invited to contact Adam Rose or Jon Baines.

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