1000’s will miss out on college locations as examination board slashes variety of A-level prime grades

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Examination boards are anticipated handy out 60,000 fewer prime grades this summer season, which means tens of hundreds of youngsters sitting A-levels might miss out on college locations in what has predicted to be ‘one of the crucial aggressive’ years for admissions.

Ofqual, the examination watchdog, introduced earlier this month that it intends to set grade boundaries that ‘replicate a staging put up between 2019 and 2021.’

Talking on the Confederation of Faculty Trusts’ annual convention in Birmingham, chief regulator Dr Jo Saxton mentioned the strategy was being adopted as a approach of reinstating grading following two years of disruption to exams brought on by the pandemic.

She warned training leaders: ‘2022 outcomes are more likely to be greater than in 2019, when summer season grades had been final decided by exams, however decrease than we noticed in 2021. 

Examination boards are anticipated handy out 60,000 fewer prime grades this summer season, which means tens of hundreds of youngsters sitting A-levels might miss out on college locations 

‘Because of this your faculties are extremely more likely to discover their outcomes are decrease than in 2021 when exams didn’t go forward. 

‘Faculties that get greater outcomes than in 2021 will probably be few and much between, if any.’ 

However critics say the system is unfairly treating the category of 2022 – who didn’t take their GCSEs due to the pandemic and had months of distant studying – in contrast with final 12 months’s college leavers, whose grades had been decided by academics, slightly than exams.

In 2019, the final 12 months college students took public exams earlier than the nationwide lockdown, 57,410 A* grades – equal to 7.7 per cent of all grades – had been awarded.

Final summer season, that determine jumped to 144,440 A* grades or 19.1 per cent of all grades.

In 2019, 25 per cent of all grades had been A* or A, in comparison with 45 per cent in 2021. 

Dennis Sherwood, a former exterior marketing consultant for Ofqual and associate with accountants Coopers & Lybrand, instructed The Sunday Occasions that this 12 months seemed set to be ‘one of the crucial aggressive’ if fewer prime grades are handed out.

He mentioned:  ‘Their older siblings had alternatives, they had been the fortunate ones, however the class of 2022 is unfortunate in that they had been born into this 12 months’s cohort slightly than being within the class of 2021 or that of 2020.’

Ucas, the schools admissions service, reported that universities had made fewer provides this 12 months and are predicting round 20 per cent of scholars won’t get their most popular alternative.

Ofqual chief regulator Jo Saxton (pictured) announced earlier this month that exam grade boundaries will be set that 'reflect a staging post between 2019 and 2021' for this year's results

Ofqual chief regulator Jo Saxton (pictured) introduced earlier this month that examination grade boundaries will probably be set that ‘replicate a staging put up between 2019 and 2021’ for this 12 months’s outcomes

Final 12 months, universities made provides in response to 70 per cent of purposes, in comparison with this 12 months, at round 66 per cent. 

Mom-of-three Kate Peters mentioned the scenario was unfair and described this 12 months’s cohort of scholars as ‘like a forgotten era.’

Her daughter was turned down by Exeter College to check psychology regardless of predictions to get two A*s and an A grade.

She mentioned: ‘They mentioned they had been accepting college students with three A*s this 12 months and instructed her to not really feel dangerous, as a result of they’d additionally turned down somebody doing 5 A-levels.’

In Might, Ofqual confirmed that GCSE and A-Degree exams will return to pre-Covid guidelines from subsequent 12 months and can scrap measures that had been put in place to assist pupils throughout the pandemic.

The choice by the examination regulator implies that GCSE college students will now be requested questions from throughout the curriculum, versus selecting their subjects in quite a lot of topics.

To take into consideration the chaos brought on by the pandemic, it mentioned there must be a alternative of subjects in GCSE English literature, historical past and historic historical past and a alternative of content material in GCSE geography for pupils this 12 months.

 Ucas predicts round 20 per cent of scholars won’t get their most popular alternative of college

However Ofqual has now confirmed ‘the return to full topic content material protection for these GCSE topics’ for subsequent 12 months.

Changes to coursework, science practicals and fieldwork in place for this 12 months may also now not apply for the 2022/23 tutorial 12 months. 

In steering revealed immediately, Ofqual mentioned it’ll ‘proceed to watch’ the influence of the pandemic and that it will consider the mitigations used to assist pupils this 12 months.

Ofqual added that it will think about its strategy to grading in 2023 ‘in mild of outcomes in 2022’.

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