It’s here — an historic day for A level pupils. No exams results day.
The Education Secretary has introduced at the eleventh hour a "triple lock” system which he says will be fair to A level pupils who did not sit a single A level exam due to schools being closed during the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Our students can have faith in their marks," Gavin Williamson writes in today's Telegraph.
“I've introduced the "triple lock" to ensure confidence and fairness in the system."
"This means students will be able to accept their calculated grade, appeal to receive a valid mock result or sit exams this autumn.”
“If students want to use a valid mock result they will use the appeals process and will need to tell their school or college, which will then provide the necessary evidence to their exam board.”
Gavin Willamson also confirmed today schools and colleges will also be able to appeal if they believe their historic data does not reflect the ability of their current students. This aims to address growing concerns that so-called turnaround schools – schools that have worked to raise grades significantly compared to previous years – will be not see results down graded due to historic performance.
The changes to the appeals process were announced just hours before A level results day following tens of thousands of Scottish pupils having exam results reinstated after outcry over results being downgraded by exam boards. First Minster Nicola Sturgeon apologised and confessed the Scottish government "did not get it right".
Speak to the school's exams officer in the first instance. They will have the most up-to-date, and possibly constantly changing, information on how to appeal to use mock exam results or apply to re-sit exams in the autumn. We explain more about the back-up exams here.
Clearing is often talked about as a stressful option, but it can be straightforward to navigate and there are around 45,000 courses with clearing vacancies on UCAS’ website.
Clearing is a system operated by UCAS which lets you know all the unis and colleges across the country which still have placed on their courses. It’s essentially re-applying to a uni course but way easier because you’ve already done your personal statement and have got your results. UCAS has a bunch of how-to videos on their website to guide you through it.
This year, the government have asked universities to hold places open for students who are appealing their grades, due to the exceptional circumstances, until 7 September. Higher education minister, Michelle Donelan, said: "We expect the vast majority of grades to be accurate, but it is essential that we have this safety net for young people who may otherwise be held back from moving on to their chosen route."
So, students can give their first choice uni a call and explain if they are appealing the grades.
Plus, there are actually more university places available this year due to lower uptake by internationl students, so they may be more open to negotiating.
If it doesn’t go to plan with the frst choice uni, students do the same and get in touch with their insurance choice to talk through the options.
We always advise going to the school in the first instance, each of which will have a dedicated exams officer.
You can also contact the National Careers Service Exam Results Helpline, which offers advice each year for students who have not received the results they had hoped for. The helpline is open from A level results day (13 August) until a week after GCSE results day (27 August) and can be contacted on 0800 100 900.