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More than 60 disciplinary proceedings and sanctions against schools that inflate grades have been filed

August 10, 2021

Original Article: https://www.tsf.pt/portugal/sociedade/instaurados-mais-de-60-processos-disciplinares-e-sancoes-a-escolas-que-inflacionam-notas-13746713.html

The original article requires translation.

The General Inspectorate of Education and Science (IGEC) has instituted, in the last two years, 66 disciplinary proceedings related to irregularities in the attribution of grades to students, having applied 64 sanctions to schools, ranging from written reprimands to suspension of functions.

The information was put forward by the Ministry of Education office, when asked about the intervention with educational establishments that systematically inflate the grades of secondary students, a practice that can allow a student to advance in access to higher education.

According to the tutelage, education inspectors have instituted, since the 2019/20 school year, 66 disciplinary processes and have become a regular presence in schools where these problems are normally identified.

The disciplinary proceedings resulted in "64 disciplinary sanctions applied in public and private and cooperative establishments, and two suspended, under the terms of the law, for the defendants' retirement or cessation of duties," the Ministry explained to Lusa.

The inspectors detected situations in which there was a "deficient elaboration of evaluation criteria", but also an "incorrect application" of these same evaluation criteria.

School directors, pedagogical directors of schools and teachers were appointed as responsible and, therefore, they were subject to sanctions that "ranging from written reprimand, fine and suspension of duties".

This year, the Ministry of Education did not present new data on schools that inflate grades, explaining that it was not possible to calculate this indicator because, in 2020, the exams were applied exclusively for the purposes of access to higher education and in the subjects chosen by each student.

Since 2015, the Ministry has released the indicator that compares the internal grades of students in each school with the classifications given by all other schools in the country to students who had similar results in national exams. Through the comparison, made over five years, it is possible to identify the educational establishments that are inflating grades.

Every year, about two dozen schools are identified as giving higher grades than they should. Invariably, most establishments are private and located in the north of the country.

There are nine schools that appear every year on the lists, which analyze the situation since 2009: they are the Secondary School of Fafe, Colégio D. Diogo de Sousa and Externato Carvalho Araújo (in Braga), Externato Camões and Colégio Paulo VI (both in Gondomar ), D. Duarte, Luso-Francês and Ribadouro schools (all three in the city of Porto) and Colégio da Trofa.

Asked about the action developed with the schools, the Ministry said that "in recent years there has been a significant improvement in the indicator of the alignment of internal grades, namely in some of the aforementioned schools. Those that continued to show weaknesses are part of the work that has been done. developed by the IGEC, that is, the Inspection intervened in a preventive or punitive manner, depending on the facts found in each of the situations".

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