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Who are secretive British protest group Forever Family Force?

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who are secretive british protest group forever family force

Wearing what appeared to be stab vests with paramilitary-style black uniforms, demonstrators marched through London yesterday demanding Britain make amends for generations of African slavery. 

The peaceful protest saw a number of small action groups come together to bring Brixton to a standstill, but it was the little known Forever Family group that made the most striking impact.

The grass-roots organisation – whose social media accounts are mostly set to private – aims to centralise community groups in a bid to support like-minded organisations.

A promotional video shared by the group – whose members resembled the Black Panther revolutionary activists of 1960s America – states that said they are ‘united in the battle against racism, inequality and injustice’.  

At least one marcher wore a balaclava, while others carried black flags and walkie-talkies. 

It is unclear how the group are funded, but they have been described as a ‘Black-owned business’ that accepts donations from the public.

Their ‘company values’ are listed as ‘integrity, transparency and accountability’ – suggesting they have more of a business or military approach to their work.

Wearing what appeared to be stab vests with paramilitary-style black uniforms, demonstrators marched through London yesterday demanding Britain make amends for generations of African slavery

Wearing what appeared to be stab vests with paramilitary-style black uniforms, demonstrators marched through London yesterday demanding Britain make amends for generations of African slavery

Wearing what appeared to be stab vests with paramilitary-style black uniforms, demonstrators marched through London yesterday demanding Britain make amends for generations of African slavery 

One of the protesters was wearing a balaclava. He was marching with a group of people stating FF Force attached to what appear to be anti-stab vests

One of the protesters was wearing a balaclava. He was marching with a group of people stating FF Force attached to what appear to be anti-stab vests

One of the protesters was wearing a balaclava. He was marching with a group of people stating FF Force attached to what appear to be anti-stab vests

Grass-roots organisation Forever Family aims to centralise community groups in a bid to support like-minded organisations, according to its promotional material

Grass-roots organisation Forever Family aims to centralise community groups in a bid to support like-minded organisations, according to its promotional material

Grass-roots organisation Forever Family aims to centralise community groups in a bid to support like-minded organisations, according to its promotional material 

Family Forever members resembled the Black Panther revolutionary activists of 1960s America

Family Forever members resembled the Black Panther revolutionary activists of 1960s America

Family Forever members resembled the Black Panther revolutionary activists of 1960s America

A promotional video made by the group (pictured at the march) said they are a 'united in the battle against racism, inequality and injustice'

A promotional video made by the group (pictured at the march) said they are a 'united in the battle against racism, inequality and injustice'

A promotional video made by the group (pictured at the march) said they are a ‘united in the battle against racism, inequality and injustice’

Videos showed the group assembled in rows and following orders in military-style drill

Videos showed the group assembled in rows and following orders in military-style drill

Videos showed the group assembled in rows and following orders in military-style drill

The march (participants pictured) marked Afrikan Emancipation Day - the 186th anniversary of the day the Abolition of Slavery Act came into force

The march (participants pictured) marked Afrikan Emancipation Day - the 186th anniversary of the day the Abolition of Slavery Act came into force

A Forever Family  activist

A Forever Family  activist

The march (participants pictured) marked Afrikan Emancipation Day – the 186th anniversary of the day the Abolition of Slavery Act came into force

Videos showed the group assembled in rows and following orders in a military-style drill.

Another clip shows marchers wearing vests branded ‘Forever Family Force’ chanting ‘we are Forever Family’. 

The march marked Afrikan Emancipation Day – the 186th anniversary of the day the Abolition of Slavery Act came into force. 

In a video shared to social media, the group said their purpose was to ‘mobilise, organise and centralise community initiatives to empower and support organisations with similar objectives’.

Another social media announcement said Forever Family are ‘united in building a self sufficient and stable community’ and will create ‘a hub and avenues for funding, business start-ups, grants and investing’.

They said: ‘We believe in putting back in using all our experience and resources to deliver results.

‘We value the safety of our senior and junior generation. Their voices will be the motivation in what we stand for.’

A video shared to their Facebook page states: ‘We are Forever Family united in building a self-sufficient and stable community.’

It states its purpose is: ‘Creating a hub  and avenues for funding, business startups, grants and investing.

‘We believe in putting back in using all our experience and resources to deliver results.’

This video adds further company values, stating: ‘We value the safety of our senior and junior generation. Their voices will be the motivation in what we stand for.’

People were on hand to issue masks and hand gel to those in attendance. Pictured: Family Forever members

People were on hand to issue masks and hand gel to those in attendance. Pictured: Family Forever members

People were on hand to issue masks and hand gel to those in attendance. Pictured: Family Forever members

So Solid Crew, an early UK garage collective, regularly post about Forever Family.

Ahead of Black Pound Day – an initiative designed to encourage Britons to buy from black-owned businesses – the group wrote:

‘Black Pound Day (BPD) is a solution to supporting the long-term economic growth of UK Black Owned Business. 

‘Forever Family are proud to connect with Black Business Owners and support them over the long-term.’

As the march made its way through London, the group shared videos of participants winding their way along the road. 

Former MEP Nigel Farage blasted the march as ‘divisive’.

He said: ‘Terrifying scenes in Brixton today. A paramilitary-style force marching in the streets. 

‘This is what the BLM movement wanted from the start and it will divide our society like never before.’

However, co-leader of the Green Party Jonathan Bartley responded to Mr Farage’s intervention. 

He tweeted: ‘You are just trying to create division. But these people in Brixton today know that love and justice will conquer the fear and hate that you peddle. Hope is what people need right now and they are showing the pathway toward it.’ 

The Metropolitan Police said three people were arrested during this afternoon’s demonstration.  

Former MEP Nigel Farage described photographs of today's demonstration in Brixton as 'terrifying' claiming a 'paramilitary-style force marching in the streets'

Former MEP Nigel Farage described photographs of today's demonstration in Brixton as 'terrifying' claiming a 'paramilitary-style force marching in the streets'

Former MEP Nigel Farage described photographs of today’s demonstration in Brixton as ‘terrifying’ claiming a ‘paramilitary-style force marching in the streets’ 

Scotland Yard said one man was arrested on suspicion of affray, another on suspicion of assault on an emergency worker and a woman was arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated assault. 

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor in charge of the policing operation yesterday said: ‘The gatherings today have been largely peaceful and we thank our communities for working with us to ensure the voices of the community could be heard safely and done so responsibly to ensure the safety of all.’ 

According to Scotland Yard: ‘Officers have been present throughout the day working with the community organisers and speaking to those attending to allow for a successful day without anti-social behaviour or violence, resulting in just three arrests made.

‘Conditions had been imposed on the demonstrations. These included for attendees to congregate in three specific areas within Brixton and for the demonstrations to conclude at 20:00hrs. 

‘These conditions were authorised following intelligence that some attendees had intended to block the A23 – the primary road running through Brixton. This would have caused significant disruption to those local residents and surrounding areas.’ 

All three remain in police custody. 

The demonstrators joined hundreds of others marking Afrikan Emancipation Day in Windrush Square, Brixton this afternoon

The demonstrators joined hundreds of others marking Afrikan Emancipation Day in Windrush Square, Brixton this afternoon

The demonstrators joined hundreds of others marking Afrikan Emancipation Day in Windrush Square, Brixton this afternoon

A large police presence surrounded the protesters who marched through the centre of Brixton this afternoon

A large police presence surrounded the protesters who marched through the centre of Brixton this afternoon

A large police presence surrounded the protesters who marched through the centre of Brixton this afternoon 

One female protester wearing combat fatigues and a beret was seen on video confronting several police officers. She warned one officer against pushing her.

Several police in the area were dealing with members of the public while a couple of officers appeared to be making an arrest.

The woman approached the police van and was blocked by several officers who were protecting the back of the vehicle.

Anyone approaching the police was pushed back. Several of the protesters were filming the incident.

One of the protesters tried to start a chant ‘no justice, no peace’ and then launched an expletive-laden rant accusing the police of being racist.

Other groups involved included the Forever Family Force and the Rhodes Must Fall Oxford campaigners. 

A number of demonstrators temporarily blocked Brixton Road at the junction with Acre Lane, forcing cars and buses to stop and turn around.

Protesters, including some from Extinction Rebellion, occupied the middle of the junction until they were told to get back on to the curb by police officers.

Three people – holding signs saying ‘mask up’ and wearing visors – handed out face masks and hand sanitiser to those attending.

The main group, Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide, want the government to create an All-Party Parliamentary Commission for Truth and Reparatory Justice. 

Crowds of people listened to music in Windrush Square – where the event began – watched speeches and observed a three-minute silence to mark the event, which is in its seventh year. 

A coalition of groups were involved in the event on Saturday, including Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide, the Afrikan Emancipation Day reparations march committee and the Rhodes Must Fall Oxford campaigners.

The Rhodes Must Fall campaigners want the statute of colonialist Cecil Rhodes removed from Oriel College in Oxford. 

While Rhodes was not involved in the slave trade he exploited black Africans working in his diamond mines and believed in the supremacy of the English.  

Protesters, floats with speakers and people on motorbikes spilled out onto Brixton Road shortly before 4pm and began to march to nearby Max Roach Park.

Groups of protesters carried home made signs calling for action on ongoing racial violence

Groups of protesters carried home made signs calling for action on ongoing racial violence

Groups of protesters carried home made signs calling for action on ongoing racial violence 

Among the groups protesting in Brixton were these motorcyclists riding varying styles of  high-powered machines

Among the groups protesting in Brixton were these motorcyclists riding varying styles of  high-powered machines

Among the groups protesting in Brixton were these motorcyclists riding varying styles of  high-powered machines

Protesters supporting the Stop the Maangamizi Campaign and the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee

Protesters supporting the Stop the Maangamizi Campaign and the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee

Protesters supporting the Stop the Maangamizi Campaign and the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee

Protestors blocked the main road running through Brixton, saying they took drastic action 'to make themselves heard'

Protestors blocked the main road running through Brixton, saying they took drastic action 'to make themselves heard'

Protestors blocked the main road running through Brixton, saying they took drastic action ‘to make themselves heard’

The Metropolitan Police began dispersing crowds from the Brixton demonstration at 8pm

The Metropolitan Police began dispersing crowds from the Brixton demonstration at 8pm

The Metropolitan Police began dispersing crowds from the Brixton demonstration at 8pm 

Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March 

The annual Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March is part of a campaign calling for the UK to make amends for the enslavement endured by generations of African people.

The march this afternoon marks its seventh year as a means of drawing attention to their cause.

The event marks the passing of the 1833 Abolition of Slavery Act, which came into force on 1 August 1834.

Campaigners argue that the millions of pounds in compensation paid to former slaveholders as a result of the Act, without similar recompense for freed slaveholders, cemented and increased racial injustices that are still felt today.  

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Protesters then began marching down Brixton Road towards Max Roach Park, blocking the road and stopping traffic. 

Campaigners argue that the millions of pounds in compensation paid to former slaveholders as a result of the Act, without similar recompense for freed slaveholders, cemented and increased racial injustices that are still felt today.

Antoinette Harrison, who lives in nearby Clapham, attended the event to march with her cousin and her cousin’s children.

On why she joined the event, the 38-year-old said: ‘We are tired.

‘And I was just saying, our parents have gone through, we’re going through this, and I don’t want our next generation to. It’s got to come to an end.’

She added: ‘What’s lovely about it is there’s such unity.

‘It’s not just the one race, like it was back in the day, now it’s whites, blacks, Hispanics – everyone.’

Asked if she had any concerns about coronavirus while attending, Ms Harrison, who has been protesting since earlier in the summer, said: ‘This is a pandemic – racism and not having justice.’

The protesters aimed to lock down Brixton because ‘WE/they are not being HEARD’ in their demand for the UK Government to establish the All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice.

The event aimed to promote the necessity of stopping the genocide and ecocide of African people and their environments, Extinction Rebellion activists said. 

A curfew and other restrictions had been imposed on the planned demonstrations to stop people blocking main roads or planning illegal music events, Scotland Yard has said.  

 The Metropolitan Police on Friday said that blocking the road will cause ‘serious disruption’ to Brixton and the surrounding area because it is used by hundreds of bus routes and thousands of motorists.

It said that it is imposing a number of conditions on the demonstrations within areas such as Windrush Square, Max Roach Park and outside Brixton Police Station. They must not spill into nearby roads and they must finish by 8pm.

The force said that the time limit was set so that officers could separate those attending the demonstrations from people attending other gatherings or unlicensed music events.

A man takes part in the seventh annual Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March in Brixton this afternoon

A man takes part in the seventh annual Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March in Brixton this afternoon

A man takes part in the seventh annual Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March in Brixton this afternoon

Stop the Maangamizi is one of the organisations dedicated to bringing about reparations on the day slavery was abolished

Stop the Maangamizi is one of the organisations dedicated to bringing about reparations on the day slavery was abolished

Stop the Maangamizi is one of the organisations dedicated to bringing about reparations on the day slavery was abolished

Police were on scene as demonstrators marched through Brixton this afternoon to mark Afrikan Emancipation Day

Police were on scene as demonstrators marched through Brixton this afternoon to mark Afrikan Emancipation Day

Police were on scene as demonstrators marched through Brixton this afternoon to mark Afrikan Emancipation Day

Protestors brought Brixton to a halt on Afrikan Emancipation Day despite police restrictions imposed ahead of the event

Protestors brought Brixton to a halt on Afrikan Emancipation Day despite police restrictions imposed ahead of the event

Protestors brought Brixton to a halt on Afrikan Emancipation Day despite police restrictions imposed ahead of the event

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor, speaking ahead of the event yesterday, said: ‘The decision to impose conditions on an assembly is never taken lightly and is made following a vigorous assessment of the information available to us.

‘We have no intention of infringing upon a responsibly-organised community event.

‘We only require that this is done in a way that makes use of Brixton’s open spaces and leaves the main road through Brixton open to other Londoners.

‘In recent weeks we have policed a number of UMEs (unlicensed music events) in which loud music is played at night, disrupting local residents and posing a real threat both to property and the officers who attend to disperse them.

‘We received information that there are those intending to come to Brixton on Saturday to purposely cause disruption, and to confront police officers.

‘This is in stark contrast to the feel of the events that will take place earlier in the day and is in opposition to the wishes of the local community.’

The Yard added that gatherings of more than 30 people will be in breach of the Health Protection (Coronavirus) Restrictions and its decision to impose conditions did not mean the assembly in breach of these regulations was authorised by police.

The march was carried out a coalition of organisations who joined to raise awareness of the cause for reparations

The march was carried out a coalition of organisations who joined to raise awareness of the cause for reparations

The march was carried out a coalition of organisations who joined to raise awareness of the cause for reparations

The Metropolitan Police said they worked with the local community to allow them to express their right to protest

The Metropolitan Police said they worked with the local community to allow them to express their right to protest

The Metropolitan Police said they worked with the local community to allow them to express their right to protest

Motorcyclists supporting the Stop the Maangamizi Campaign and the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee take part in a march from Windrush Square to Max Roach Park in Brixton, London, this afternoon

Motorcyclists supporting the Stop the Maangamizi Campaign and the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee take part in a march from Windrush Square to Max Roach Park in Brixton, London, this afternoon

Motorcyclists supporting the Stop the Maangamizi Campaign and the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee take part in a march from Windrush Square to Max Roach Park in Brixton, London, this afternoon

An Extinction Rebellion protester supporting the Stop the Maangamizi Campaign and the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee takes part in a march from Windrush Square to Max Roach Park in Brixton, London

An Extinction Rebellion protester supporting the Stop the Maangamizi Campaign and the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee takes part in a march from Windrush Square to Max Roach Park in Brixton, London

An Extinction Rebellion protester supporting the Stop the Maangamizi Campaign and the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee takes part in a march from Windrush Square to Max Roach Park in Brixton, London

Demonstrators praised the unity of the march as different groups came together to march for Afrikan Emancipation Day

Demonstrators praised the unity of the march as different groups came together to march for Afrikan Emancipation Day

Demonstrators praised the unity of the march as different groups came together to march for Afrikan Emancipation Day

Demonstrators gathered in Windrush Square, in Brixton, before marching through the streets with signs and banners

Demonstrators gathered in Windrush Square, in Brixton, before marching through the streets with signs and banners

Demonstrators gathered in Windrush Square, in Brixton, before marching through the streets with signs and banners

Police had imposed restrictions and a curfew ahead of the event over fears the demonstration would cause severe disruption

Police had imposed restrictions and a curfew ahead of the event over fears the demonstration would cause severe disruption

Police had imposed restrictions and a curfew ahead of the event over fears the demonstration would cause severe disruption

Several speeches were delivered to the crowd in support of the campaign and promoting Afrikan Emancipation Day

Several speeches were delivered to the crowd in support of the campaign and promoting Afrikan Emancipation Day

Several speeches were delivered to the crowd in support of the campaign and promoting Afrikan Emancipation Day 

The Metropolitan Police confirmed that yesterday's event passed off peacefully with three people arrested

The Metropolitan Police confirmed that yesterday's event passed off peacefully with three people arrested

The Metropolitan Police confirmed that yesterday’s event passed off peacefully with three people arrested 

Who are Stop the Maangamizi: We charge genocide/ecocide

The group are campaigning for the government to establish an All-Party Parliamentary Commission for Truth & Reparatory Justice on Britain’s history of slavery. 

The term Maangamizi, is a Swahili word for Holocaust, according to  Professor Maulana Karenga.  

As well as raising awareness of Britain’s colonial past, the group claim that black people in the UK still suffer significant discrimination and face economic deprivation and a lack of opportunity. 

The group believes that Britain became a wealthy society having exploited African people and claim that their ancestors should receive restitution.    

Protesters claim descendants of slaves in Britain should receive reparations for their ancestors' suffering

Protesters claim descendants of slaves in Britain should receive reparations for their ancestors' suffering

Protesters claim descendants of slaves in Britain should receive reparations for their ancestors’ suffering 

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Who was Cecil Rhodes and why is he so controversial?

Cecil Rhodes, pictured, who died in 1902, was the founder of the De Beers diamond company who was accused of exploiting his black miners. He was also a proponent of racial segregation which led to the Apartheid strategy in South Africa

Cecil Rhodes, pictured, who died in 1902, was the founder of the De Beers diamond company who was accused of exploiting his black miners. He was also a proponent of racial segregation which led to the Apartheid strategy in South Africa

Cecil Rhodes, pictured, who died in 1902, was the founder of the De Beers diamond company who was accused of exploiting his black miners. He was also a proponent of racial segregation which led to the Apartheid strategy in South Africa

Cecil Rhodes was born in Bishop Stortford, Hertfordshire in 1853. He was the son of a vicar. 

Rhodes left England in 1870 for South Africa to work on his brother’s cotton farm. Though he later moved into the diamond business – co-founding De Beers – which at one stage controlled more than 90 per cent of the world’s supply. 

The tycoon had wanted to build a railway from Cairo to Cape Town in order to colonise much of the continent of Africa.  

He had even plans to bring the United States back under Crown control. 

It wasn’t until the 1880s that he attended Oriel College, Oxford, which he left a substantial fund upon his death in 1902. 

He was supported by Queen Victoria in expanding British territory in southern Africa, colonising Northern Rhodesia and Southern Rhodesia – now Zambia and Zimbabwe. 

He once claimed: ‘Why should we not form a secret society with but one object, the furtherance of the British Empire and the bringing of the whole world under British rule, for the recovery of the United States, for making the Anglo-Saxon race but one Empire?’

 He was the Prime Minister of Cape Colony – now South Africa – between 1890 and 1896 and is credited with creating the conditions for the second Boer War. 

In 1895, Rhodes sent British troops into Transvaal, which was an independent Republic, in order to overthrow it’s prime minister Paul Kruger and seize the area’s gold mines. 

The Jameson Raid failed miserably.  

Though, the battle over gold rights in the region led to war in 1899, which lasted for more than three years. 

British troops operated a scorched earth policy, burning farms and placing women and children into concentration camps where thousands died. 

Some 500,000 troops – including soldiers from Australia, New Zealand and Canada were involved in the conflict. 

The conflict claimed the lives of 25,000 Afrikaners – many of them in concentration camps. 

Some 22,000 British troops as well as a further 12,000 Africans died in the conflict.     

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England’s schools get powers to appeal GCSE/A-level results

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englands schools get powers to appeal gcse a level results

Schools in England will be able to appeal their students’ GCSE and A-level results if they can prove grades are lower than expected. 

England’s exams regulator has said schools and colleges can appeal if they can show historical data used to standardise grades is not a reliable indicator of this year’s results due to a change of circumstances.

However, individual pupils will not be allowed to challenge grades themselves, Ofqual has confirmed, and schools and colleges will need to appeal against results on their behalf.

The guidance – published a week before A-level results day – comes after a former private school head warned that not allowing appeals against unfair exam results risks ‘imposing a life sentence’ on some pupils.

It follows chaos in Scotland, where 124,564 pupils were marked down by exam bosses, after teachers ‘tried to give them the highest results in history’.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: 'It is vital that students with exceptional circumstances are not held back by the way grades have been calculated'

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: 'It is vital that students with exceptional circumstances are not held back by the way grades have been calculated'

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: ‘It is vital that students with exceptional circumstances are not held back by the way grades have been calculated’

Concerns have been raised that the ‘narrow’ criteria for challenging grades may ‘exacerbate existing inequalities’ and result in legal action against exam boards.

It comes after this summer’s exams were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead, schools and colleges were asked to submit the grades they thought students would have received if they had sat the exams.

However, it was revealed last week that statistical modelling will be used to determine the majority of this year’s A-level and GCSE results, rather than predicted grades from teachers. 

Exam regulator Ofqual announced the government u-turn after concerns regarding the reliability of teacher-predicted grades were raised.  

The new statistical model will take into account a number of factors, including pupils’ previous attainment, results of previous students at the same school and the predicted grades teachers submitted in March. 

Now, new guidance by Ofqual sets out how schools and colleges can appeal GCSE and A-level grades, which students are set to receive over the next fortnight.

Schools and colleges can appeal if they were expecting results this year to ‘show a very different pattern of grades’ to results in previous years because of the ability profile of students this year.

If a school has had a ‘significant change in leadership or governance’ – and it can provide evidence that its previous grades are ‘not a reliable indicator’ of this year’s results – it will also be allowed to challenge results.

If a single-sex school has changed to co-educational – or a school has experienced a ‘monumental event’ such as flooding or fire which meant it had to move and it affected previous exam results – then they can appeal grades.

Schools and colleges can appeal to the exam board if it believes it made an error when submitting a grade or if it believes an exam board made a mistake.

Pupils can ask their school or college to check whether it made an administrative error when submitting their grade – and they can ask them to submit an appeal to the exam board if it did.

Students will not be able to directly appeal their calculated grades to the exam boards, but they can submit allegations about bias or discrimination.

Ofqual has advised students to complain to their college or school in the first place about potential malpractice. If their concerns are not addressed, pupils can formally complain to the exam board.

Students in England who are unhappy with their grades will also have the opportunity to take A-level exams in October and GCSE exams in November. 

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: ‘It is vital that students with exceptional circumstances are not held back by the way grades have been calculated – including those who are highly talented in schools that have not in the past had strong results, or where schools have undergone significant changes such as a new leadership team.

‘This appeals process does this. Students will also have the opportunity to take exams this autumn if they are unhappy with their grades.’

Not allowing pupils the right to appeal GCSE or A-Level exam grades they think are unfair had earlier been linked to imposing a ‘life sentence’. 

There are concerns that results day next week could be chaotic as thousands of teenagers may receive ‘unfair’ marks. 

Dr Martin Stephen, the former High Master of St Paul’s Boys’ School told The Daily Telegraph the system was equivalent to ‘imposing a life sentence, with no right of appeal’.

The new guidance comes after outrage in Scotland where the grade moderation process reduced the pass rate of the poorest Higher pupils by more than twice that of the richest. 

The Scottish Qualifications Authority downgraded the students’ marks for the exams that were not sat, changing a massive 93.1 per cent of all the moderated scores.

Chief Examining Officer Fiona Robertson said if the SQA had not stepped in exam pass rates would have risen at every level and would have been the highest on record. 

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Ellen DeGeneres bullied 11-year-old boy by calling him ‘fat’ and ‘stupid’

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ellen degeneres bullied 11 year old boy by calling him fat and stupid

Ellen DeGeneres bullied an 11-year-old boy, calling him ‘fat’ and ‘stupid’; made fun of his clothes and ‘took pleasure’ in his distress, the now grown victim claims.

In an exclusive interview with DailyMailTV, Ben Gravolet said the under fire TV host worked for his mother’s recruitment agency when he was a child, and claimed Ellen – then aged about 20 – would regularly subject him to biting, mean insults.

‘I would dread going to [my mom’s] office to see her after school or on a day if I was sick and Ellen was there,’ Gravolet said.

‘She would criticize my weight. I would try to do homework in the office, she’d call me stupid, she’d call me fat. She would criticize my clothes.

‘I was just a boy and this was a grown woman who took pleasure in seeing me become visibly upset. 

‘I don’t think there’s any excuse for it. I was a defenseless kid. What could I have told her back?

‘It has an effect if somebody in a superior position to you, who’s much older, goes ”You’re fat. You might want to lose some of that weight chunky boy.” I was always self conscious about my weight and it made things worse.’

Ben Gravolet, 52, told DailyMailTV in an exclusive interview that 'vile' Ellen DeGeneres bullied him as an 11-year-old boy, calling him 'fat' and 'stupid'. He claimed Ellen – then aged about 20 – would regularly subject him to biting, mean insults

Ben Gravolet, 52, told DailyMailTV in an exclusive interview that 'vile' Ellen DeGeneres bullied him as an 11-year-old boy, calling him 'fat' and 'stupid'. He claimed Ellen – then aged about 20 – would regularly subject him to biting, mean insults

Ben Gravolet, 52, told DailyMailTV in an exclusive interview that ‘vile’ Ellen DeGeneres bullied him as an 11-year-old boy, calling him ‘fat’ and ‘stupid’. He claimed Ellen – then aged about 20 – would regularly subject him to biting, mean insults

Gravolet (pictured around 11 years old) said: 'She would criticize my weight. I would try to do homework in the office, she'd call me stupid, she'd call me fat. She would criticize my clothes. I was just a boy and this was a grown woman who took pleasure in seeing me become visibly upset'

Gravolet (pictured around 11 years old) said: 'She would criticize my weight. I would try to do homework in the office, she'd call me stupid, she'd call me fat. She would criticize my clothes. I was just a boy and this was a grown woman who took pleasure in seeing me become visibly upset'

Gravolet (pictured around 11 years old) said: ‘She would criticize my weight. I would try to do homework in the office, she’d call me stupid, she’d call me fat. She would criticize my clothes. I was just a boy and this was a grown woman who took pleasure in seeing me become visibly upset’

His allegations follow claims from dozens of staff on The Ellen DeGeneres Show who have said that racism, bullying and sexual harassment was rife at the show

His allegations follow claims from dozens of staff on The Ellen DeGeneres Show who have said that racism, bullying and sexual harassment was rife at the show

His allegations follow claims from dozens of staff on The Ellen DeGeneres Show who have said that racism, bullying and sexual harassment was rife at the show

The Belle Chasse, Louisiana-based father-of-three said in the late 1970s Ellen worked as a recruiter in the lakeside New Orleans branch of Snelling Personnel, owned by his mother.

Gravolet, 52, who now works as vice president of a New Orleans marketing agency, said the multi-millionaire comedian ‘was just the meanest, nastiest, most horrible person.’

‘One incident stands out in my mind,’ he told DailyMailTV. ‘I was sitting beside her desk. I was drawing, and she criticized the drawings. She said ”I guess that would look nice if you could draw”.

‘As I watched her meteoric rise to fame, people would say how great she was and all I could think was she must be an incredible actor because she was one of the most vile people I’ve ever met in my life,’ he said. ‘Who takes pleasure in giving a child pain?’

Gravolet’s allegations follow claims from dozens of staff on The Ellen DeGeneres Show who have said that racism, bullying and sexual harassment was rife at the Hollywood studio.

The scandal prompted Ellen, 62, to email an apology to her staff – which some have labelled as ‘complete bull’, claiming she was ‘power-hungry’ and part of the ‘toxic’ environment on set.

Gravolet claimed that even aged 20 his mother’s former employee enjoyed wielding power over others.

‘It appears to me that she hoards power over those that are lesser than her. It’s almost as if she has to feel controlling. It seems like she has to be superior, be better.’

Gravolet’s furious mother, Tana Robinson, told DailyMailTV Ellen was ‘extremely rude’ but that she only found out about the alleged bullying of her son a few weeks ago. 

Gravolet, 52, who now works as vice president of a New Orleans marketing agency, said the multi-millionaire comedian 'was just the meanest, nastiest, most horrible person. As I watched her meteoric rise to fame, people would say how great she was and all I could think was she must be an incredible actor because she was one of the most vile people I've ever met in my life,' he said. 'Who takes pleasure in giving a child pain?'

Gravolet, 52, who now works as vice president of a New Orleans marketing agency, said the multi-millionaire comedian 'was just the meanest, nastiest, most horrible person. As I watched her meteoric rise to fame, people would say how great she was and all I could think was she must be an incredible actor because she was one of the most vile people I've ever met in my life,' he said. 'Who takes pleasure in giving a child pain?'

Gravolet, 52, who now works as vice president of a New Orleans marketing agency, said the multi-millionaire comedian ‘was just the meanest, nastiest, most horrible person. As I watched her meteoric rise to fame, people would say how great she was and all I could think was she must be an incredible actor because she was one of the most vile people I’ve ever met in my life,’ he said. ‘Who takes pleasure in giving a child pain?’

Gravolet said the under fire TV host worked for his mother's recruitment agency when he was a child, and claimed Ellen – then aged about 20 – would regularly subject him to biting, mean insults. Pictured: Ellen in 1987 around aged 28

Gravolet said the under fire TV host worked for his mother's recruitment agency when he was a child, and claimed Ellen – then aged about 20 – would regularly subject him to biting, mean insults. Pictured: Ellen in 1987 around aged 28

Gravolet said the under fire TV host worked for his mother’s recruitment agency when he was a child, and claimed Ellen – then aged about 20 – would regularly subject him to biting, mean insults. Pictured: Ellen in 1987 around aged 28

The recent scandal prompted Ellen, 62, to email an apology to her staff – which some have labelled as 'complete bull', claiming she was 'power-hungry' and part of the 'toxic' environment on set

The recent scandal prompted Ellen, 62, to email an apology to her staff – which some have labelled as 'complete bull', claiming she was 'power-hungry' and part of the 'toxic' environment on set

The recent scandal prompted Ellen, 62, to email an apology to her staff – which some have labelled as ‘complete bull’, claiming she was ‘power-hungry’ and part of the ‘toxic’ environment on set

‘I think I probably fired her. Had I known that was going on, I’d have punched her and then fired her,’ Robinson, 72, said. ‘A horrible person does that to an 11-year-old boy.

‘I can’t even put myself in the shoes of someone at that age that dislikes children so much or whose ego is so low that she has to smash a child to feel good about herself.

‘A bully is a good word for it. She never tried to bully me because she knew she couldn’t. So she bullied him with me not knowing about it.’

Last month one current and ten former employees of her daytime chat show accused its three executive producers, Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner, of ‘bullying.’

The executive producers issued a statement saying: ‘We are truly heartbroken and sorry to learn that even one person in our production family has had a negative experience.’

Lassner also tweeted: ‘Nobody is going off the air.’

Jonathan Norman, a co-executive producer, is alleged to have ‘groomed’ a former employee by taking him to concerts and showering him with other gifts and perks before attempting to perform oral sex on him.

Kevin Leman, the show’s head writer and executive producer, is alleged to have solicited oral sex from an employee. Others say they witnessed Leman grope another colleague.

And Ed Glavin, an executive producer, allegedly ‘had a reputation for being handsy with women,’ according to former employees.

The former staffers told BuzzFeed News they believe Ellen knew that several of her senior showrunners and producers were alleged to have committed sexual misconduct against junior-level employees.

A source close to DeGeneres denied she knew about the allegations of sexual harassment by show producers before they were published last month. 

Ellen DeGeneres and three other executive producers from her daytime talk show were reported to have held a call Monday to 'clear the air' with staffers and discuss the show's future

Ellen DeGeneres and three other executive producers from her daytime talk show were reported to have held a call Monday to 'clear the air' with staffers and discuss the show's future

Ellen DeGeneres and three other executive producers from her daytime talk show were reported to have held a call Monday to ‘clear the air’ with staffers and discuss the show’s future

Last month one current and ten former employees of her daytime chat show accused its three executive producers, Ed Glavin (second from right), Mary Connelly (far right) and Andy Lassner (second from left), of 'bullying.' Jonathan Norman (far left), a co-executive producer, is alleged to have 'groomed' a former employee by taking him to concerts and showering him with other gifts and perks before attempting to perform oral sex on him. Kevin Leman (center), the show's head writer and executive producer, is alleged to have solicited oral sex from an employee. Others say they witnessed Leman grope another colleague. Glavin allegedly 'had a reputation for being handsy with women,' according to former employees

Last month one current and ten former employees of her daytime chat show accused its three executive producers, Ed Glavin (second from right), Mary Connelly (far right) and Andy Lassner (second from left), of 'bullying.' Jonathan Norman (far left), a co-executive producer, is alleged to have 'groomed' a former employee by taking him to concerts and showering him with other gifts and perks before attempting to perform oral sex on him. Kevin Leman (center), the show's head writer and executive producer, is alleged to have solicited oral sex from an employee. Others say they witnessed Leman grope another colleague. Glavin allegedly 'had a reputation for being handsy with women,' according to former employees

Last month one current and ten former employees of her daytime chat show accused its three executive producers, Ed Glavin (second from right), Mary Connelly (far right) and Andy Lassner (second from left), of ‘bullying.’ Jonathan Norman (far left), a co-executive producer, is alleged to have ‘groomed’ a former employee by taking him to concerts and showering him with other gifts and perks before attempting to perform oral sex on him. Kevin Leman (center), the show’s head writer and executive producer, is alleged to have solicited oral sex from an employee. Others say they witnessed Leman grope another colleague. Glavin allegedly ‘had a reputation for being handsy with women,’ according to former employees

Leman and Norman have denied all allegations. Glavin has not addressed the claim publicly but is stepping down from his position, according to Variety.

Ellen responded by sending a memo to her staff, apologizing for the alleged misconduct on her watch, but accusing her colleagues of ‘misrepresenting who I am’.

‘On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that The Ellen Degeneres Show would be a place of happiness — no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect,’ she wrote.

‘Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. And for that, I am sorry. Anyone who knows me knows it’s the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show.

‘I’m also learning that people who work with me and for me are speaking on my behalf and misrepresenting who I am and that has to stop.

‘As someone who was judged and nearly lost everything for just being who I am, I truly understand and have deep compassion for those being looked at differently, or treated unfairly, not equal, or — worse — disregarded. To think that any one of you felt that way is awful to me.’

After Ellen sent the memo, two former members of staff told the Sun the 62-year-old host’s ‘apology and denial that she knew anything was going on’ regarding misconduct was ‘complete bull’.

The pair told the paper: ‘For over a decade Ellen has treated her staff poorly, which is ironic because of her persona when she is on camera.

‘She is literally like two different people. One is awful, power-hungry and constantly yells at everyone for any little thing that goes wrong with the production of the show.

‘The other character that Ellen plays is what the world sees – a hilarious, kind and giving woman who is a fearless advocate for the LGBTQ community.’

The former workers said the show has a high staff turnover because of the pressure that Ellen applied. But explained the fear of her ‘power’ had prevented complainants from coming forward earlier.

Production sources revealed staff have taken to calling Ellen 'Talk Show Karen'. Ellen was photographed taking a walk with an unidentified friend on Saturday afternoon in Santa Monica

Production sources revealed staff have taken to calling Ellen 'Talk Show Karen'. Ellen was photographed taking a walk with an unidentified friend on Saturday afternoon in Santa Monica

Production sources revealed staff have taken to calling Ellen ‘Talk Show Karen’. Ellen was photographed taking a walk with an unidentified friend on Saturday afternoon in Santa Monica

Stand-up comic and former Everybody Loves Raymond star Brad Garrett tweeted Friday: 'Sorry but it comes from the top ⁦@TheEllenShow Know more than one who were treated horribly by her.⁩ Common knowledge'

Stand-up comic and former Everybody Loves Raymond star Brad Garrett tweeted Friday: 'Sorry but it comes from the top ⁦@TheEllenShow Know more than one who were treated horribly by her.⁩ Common knowledge'

Stand-up comic and former Everybody Loves Raymond star Brad Garrett tweeted Friday: ‘Sorry but it comes from the top ⁦@TheEllenShow Know more than one who were treated horribly by her.⁩ Common knowledge’ 

'Love you for life': Kevin Hart joins the slim line of stars sticking up for embattled talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres in a gushing Instagram post on Tuesday

'Love you for life': Kevin Hart joins the slim line of stars sticking up for embattled talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres in a gushing Instagram post on Tuesday

‘Love you for life’: Kevin Hart joins the slim line of stars sticking up for embattled talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres in a gushing Instagram post on Tuesday

Katy Perry insisted she had 'only ever had positive takeaways from my time with Ellen and on the show' in an impassioned statement

Katy Perry insisted she had 'only ever had positive takeaways from my time with Ellen and on the show' in an impassioned statement

Katy Perry insisted she had ‘only ever had positive takeaways from my time with Ellen and on the show’ in an impassioned statement

One of the sources said: ‘She cannot go on living a lie and treating people this way. Her reputation and disgusting behavior has finally caught up with her.’

The show’s parent company WarnerMedia last week launched an investigation after the employees went public with their grievances.

Warner Bros., the studio that runs the show, has declined to comment on the sexual harassment allegations, citing an ongoing internal investigation.

Celebrities and comedians have joined the outburst of criticism for the chat show star.

The former boss of Today, Australia’s Channel 9 morning show, said when Ellen came to his set for an interview during her 2013 Australia tour, her staff demanded nobody talk or even look at her without permission.

Gravolet (pictured) said Ellen's bullying revelations have made him feel 'vindicated'. 'I don't take pleasure in seeing this happen to her now but at least it makes me feel like I wasn't the problem and I feel vindicated,' he told DailyMailTV.

Gravolet (pictured) said Ellen's bullying revelations have made him feel 'vindicated'. 'I don't take pleasure in seeing this happen to her now but at least it makes me feel like I wasn't the problem and I feel vindicated,' he told DailyMailTV.

Gravolet (pictured) said Ellen’s bullying revelations have made him feel ‘vindicated’. ‘I don’t take pleasure in seeing this happen to her now but at least it makes me feel like I wasn’t the problem and I feel vindicated,’ he told DailyMailTV.

Stand-up comic and former Everybody Loves Raymond star Brad Garrett tweeted Friday: ‘Sorry but it comes from the top ⁦@TheEllenShow Know more than one who were treated horribly by her.⁩ Common knowledge.’

Actress and director Lea Thompson also tweeted ‘True story, it is.’

Podcaster Kevin T. Porter claimed on Twitter that Ellen is ‘notoriously one of the meanest people alive’ and offered to donate $2 to Los Angeles food banks for every person who replied to his tweet with a story about her alleged rude behavior.

But music manager Scooter Braun came to Ellen’s defense, tweeting ‘@TheEllenShow is a kind, thoughtful, courageous human being who stands for what is right and highlights on her show the best of us.’

Others including singer Katy Perry and comedians Jay Leno and Kevin Hart have also tweeted glowing reviews of their ‘friend’. 

Still, Gravolet said Ellen’s bullying revelations have made him feel ‘vindicated’.

‘I don’t take pleasure in seeing this happen to her now but at least it makes me feel like I wasn’t the problem and I feel vindicated,’ he told DailyMailTV.

‘If she did that to me 40 years ago, leopards don’t change their spots.

‘I feel for her as a person with all this going on. But at some point you’ve gotta stop. You’ve got to go get enough help to find out why you take pleasure in someone else’s pain.’

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Coronavirus R-rate could be as high at 1.8 in Northern Ireland as it records 43 more cases

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coronavirus r rate could be as high at 1 8 in northern ireland as it records 43 more cases

The coronavirus rate of infection could be as high as 1.8 in Northern Ireland – as the country records 43 more cases within 23 clusters.

The Department of Health said the R-rate rose from between 0.5 and one last week, to between 0.8 and 1.8 this week, in a dramatic escalation of Covid-19 in the region.

R represents the number of individuals who, on average, will be infected by a person with the virus.  

It comes as more than 20 coronavirus clusters have been identified in Northern Ireland.

Of the 23 pinpointed in the region since May 25 when the test and trace programme went live, 11 clusters remain open, according to the Public Health Agency (PHA).

First Minister Arlene Foster at a press confrerence at Dublin Castle for the first summit of the North South Ministerial Council on July 31, 2020. More than 20 coronavirus clusters have been identified in Northern Ireland

First Minister Arlene Foster at a press confrerence at Dublin Castle for the first summit of the North South Ministerial Council on July 31, 2020. More than 20 coronavirus clusters have been identified in Northern Ireland

First Minister Arlene Foster at a press confrerence at Dublin Castle for the first summit of the North South Ministerial Council on July 31, 2020. More than 20 coronavirus clusters have been identified in Northern Ireland

It means the planned reopening of pubs and bars that don’t sell food has been pushed back to September 1.  

First Minister Arlene Foster said: ‘Because of the concern around the level of community transmission and the desire to frankly prioritise the reopening of our schools… we have decided that it is prudent to pause the reopening of our public houses.’

Some 168 cases of Covid-19 have been associated with the clusters, with nine areas connected to five or more cases.

Earlier this week, two businesses in Newcastle, Co Down, closed temporarily following outbreaks among their staff.

It means the planned reopening of pubs and bars that don't sell food has been pushed back to September 1. Pictured, a closed pub in Belfast

It means the planned reopening of pubs and bars that don't sell food has been pushed back to September 1. Pictured, a closed pub in Belfast

It means the planned reopening of pubs and bars that don’t sell food has been pushed back to September 1. Pictured, a closed pub in Belfast

The statement from the PHA came on Thursday as the Department of Health’s daily updates showed 43 more positive cases of coronavirus have been detected in the region, bringing the total to 6,049.

No new deaths were recorded on Thursday, leaving the total in the region at 556, according to departmental figures.

The PHA has defined a cluster as two or more laboratory-confirmed cases of Covid-19 among individuals associated with a key setting, with illness onset dates within a 14-day period.

Key settings which have seen a cluster include workplaces, retail or hospitality premises, domestic gatherings, and sporting settings, however the PHA said the transmission risk is highest in a household setting.

Key settings which have seen a cluster include workplaces, retail or hospitality premises, domestic gatherings, and sporting settings. Pictured, parishioners wearing face masks in Armagh on June 29

Key settings which have seen a cluster include workplaces, retail or hospitality premises, domestic gatherings, and sporting settings. Pictured, parishioners wearing face masks in Armagh on June 29

Key settings which have seen a cluster include workplaces, retail or hospitality premises, domestic gatherings, and sporting settings. Pictured, parishioners wearing face masks in Armagh on June 29

Since July, the average number of close contacts linked to cases has more than doubled. 

The rise may be attributed to the gradual easing of lockdown measures, but may also be explained by the relaxing of attitudes to social distancing.

Dr Gerry Waldron, head of health protection at the PHA, said: ‘Clusters are managed through the contact tracing programme, and where we need to advise or inform the public of any increased risk to public health we will do so in a timely manner.

‘In the past seven days, five clusters have been identified. Thirty-five cases have been associated with these clusters, with 239 close contacts.

‘This should act as a timely reminder that we must not become complacent – coronavirus remains in circulation and we have seen an increase in cases in recent weeks. It is therefore essential that we remember the key advice to help keep ourselves and those around us safe.

‘Maintain social distancing, wash your hands regularly, and get tested if you display any symptoms of coronavirus.

Prison officers wearing PPE clothing as they await new committals at HMP Maghaberry in Lisburn, Co Antrim

Prison officers wearing PPE clothing as they await new committals at HMP Maghaberry in Lisburn, Co Antrim

Prison officers wearing PPE clothing as they await new committals at HMP Maghaberry in Lisburn, Co Antrim

‘Speculation around current clusters of Covid-19 across Northern Ireland is not helpful.

‘We will not be commenting on individual cases of Covid-19 or going into the detail of every incident that emerges, as this could lead to people being identified, create stigma, and focus attention on individuals, families or groups, and therefore deter others with symptoms coming forward to be tested.’ 

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said while community transmission remains low in Northern Ireland, the number of positive tests per day has increased three-fold from early July.

Chief scientific adviser Professor Ian Young said: ‘The most recent data for Northern Ireland underlines the need for continued vigilance.

‘There are five key steps each of us can take to keep ourselves and others safe – rigorously maintain social distancing; wash our hands well and often; wear face coverings in enclosed spaces where social distancing is difficult; co-operate fully with the Test, Trace and Protect programme, and download the Stop Covid NI app.’ 

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