Government U-turn on A-level results causes anger and upset among students
PUBLISHED: 12:00 20 August 2020
A student feels the government’s U-turn on A-level results has been a ‘complete shambles’ after she was initially awarded D grade qualifications.
The 18-year-old student in Portishead, who does not wish to be named, was predicted Bs and Cs in business studies, law and politics at college.
Instead, she was awarded results up to two grades lower than what she had achieved in her mock exams.
She said it was ‘hugely upsetting’ to be awarded Ds in her A-levels, as she worked ‘extremely hard’ in the months leading up to lockdown to improve her grades.
Her teachers recommended that she should receive C grades in all subjects, and they supported her decision to appeal her results.
However, after a drastic U-turn, the government has now decided to award students their predicted grades based on teachers’ assessments, unless the grades produced by a controversial algorithm are higher, for A-levels and GCSEs, which Ofqual announced on Monday.
The student has been given an unconditional offer to study law at the University of the West of England, but says she feels her generation has been ‘educationally robbed’, as her friends are now unsure if they will gain their university places as a result of the change.
She said: “I was so disappointed and even though I already have a place at university to do my law degree, it is hugely upsetting to know you have not been given the grades you deserve. I feel like we’ve been educationally robbed.
“I have friends who are too devastated to talk about it because they don’t know if they will get their university place or not, even though the government has now done a U-turn on this.
“Time and money has been wasted getting the whole thing so wrong and now trying to put it right, it’s a complete shambles.”
Education secretary, Gavin Williamson, has apologised to young people for the distress caused after their results were downgraded. Previously, A-level qualifications were decided by an algorithm aimed at standardising results across the UK, which saw almost 40 per cent of entries being downgraded by Ofqual.
MP for North Somerset Liam Fox announced he has written to the Secretary of State for Education to address the ‘unnecessary anxiety and confusion’ caused by the change to Ofqual advice.
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