As A-level results came in last Thursday, British students have been left disappointed with lower grades than their teachers had predicted them. The government’s system of moderating the grades given by teachers has downgraded nearly 40% of all grades. Many students are now left without a place at a University, and have to either re-sit in the autumn or go through clearing.
Students took to social media to complain that they had been unfairly graded. This included students rejected from Oxford and Cambridge who were used to getting A*s, and those left unable to attend University at all due to downgraded results.
One student said that she was happy because she did better than she anticipated and was accepted into University. She said she thought it was because “Our teachers fought hard for us.”
Meanwhile, students and alumni from Newcastle Medical School have signed an open letter, saying the grading system is unfair and will disproportionately affect BAME and working-class students. The letter encourages Newcastle University to accept people who have been offered a place regardless of grades.
The downgrading of so many students has put strain on the clearing process, as more students miss out on their offers. Clearing had already been complicated by the pandemic, which cast doubts over whether or not people were going to take gap years. The results fallout has only added to the confusion.
Newcastle University has released a statement outlining their response to the rapidly changing situation. They confirmed that they “have received over 1,000 emails from students letting us know they plan to appeal their grades”. They have also confirmed that “if a student meets their offer by sitting the examinations this autumn, their place will be confirmed for September 2021”. You can read the full statement here.
Up until now, the government have been standing by their system. The Education Secretary has said that he cannot “guarantee” that young people are going to be happy with their grades. He explained that that is why he put a robust appeals process in place.
However, a change is expected within the coming hours.
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Last modified: 17th August 2020