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Monthly Archives: August 2020

A slap in the face for pupils, parents and teachers

“Panicked & chaotic” – ASCL, Head teachers Union

“Makes a mockery of exams” – National Union of students

“Knee jerk panic reaction” – Parent

“Never in recent memory have we been faced with such uncertainty and challenge on the eve of A-level and BTec results day,” – Anja Hazebroek from the University of Hull.

It didn’t have to be like this. The Government and Dfe have had months to work out a system for results. It was never going to be perfect, it was never going to be completely fair but to introduce such a change this late in the day, the day before A-level students are to collect results seems absurd even for this Government. There was little mention of mocks (or Pre-Public examinations) in the guidance to teachers to work out centre assessed grades in April but they could now be vital.

It appears a panicked reaction to events in Scotland, whose Government have now gone back to taking the teacher assessed grade. In Wales they still have AS-levels so can base grades largely on those. So we now have the potential for 3 different countries in the UK having 3 different systems to get to exam results: one from teachers, one from AS grades and one from mocks. Maybe if Michael Gove had not been so determined to get rid of AS-levels and coursework in subjects, we wouldn’t be in such a bad position.

Using mocks throws up so many issues. School’s will do them at different times of year, some may not have done them by lockdown, some teachers mark harshly to push those students to work harder, some mark leniently to boost confidence, some will do full papers, some will do AS papers, the list is almost endless. The Government have now said that Ofqal (the exams regulator) will not now how this appeal process will work until next week, even more uncertainty for students. This then links to the Universities- How will they decide on allocations? Will courses still start in the Autumn? When will they know student results?

In the short-term students will need more support than ever, if University is the chosen path they have been asked to be flexible and it is likely to be a buyers’ market, students are likely to be able to get into many Uni’s even if they didn’t quite get awarded the grade. Schools will know what to do so should be contacted in the first instance. In Reading our careers service Elevate will be on hand to speak with students on 07929 178133 from 9am -5pm on both results days, and the following Fridays or via email: and Live Chat on the Brighter Futures website. Whether it’s a job, apprenticeship, college course, training, internship or University, there will always be a way to get to it. These extraordinary A-level results are just a step and one that will be overcome.

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Results support for Reading’s young people

An extensive package of support has been put in place by Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC) for young people in Reading receiving their exam results this summer.
The team from Elevate Careers Service will be on hand to provide information, advice and guidance for students and their parents by phone, live chat and on their web page after the A/AS Level and GCSE results are published.

The service, which is operated by BFfC, will help individuals explore all options and provide advice on possible next steps such as; college and university, applying for apprenticeships or traineeships, access to work-based training and applying for jobs.

For the first time, young people will be able to talk to the Elevate team via the Live Chat app on the BFfC careers web page on or after results day at: Results advice phone lines will also be open to offer support.
The dedicated BFfC careers web page will be regularly updated with information on local opportunities for jobs, traineeships, apprenticeships, internships, plus further and higher education choices and advice and support.

Elevate will also be using social media to promote local opportunities and links to useful resources for young people.
Tony Kildare, Managing Director of Brighter Futures for Children, said: “I am delighted the Elevate Careers Service is able to offer such a broad range of support for young people who receive their exam results in Reading this summer.
“There are so many possible paths to take after leaving school or college, whatever your results, so it is reassuring to know there will be a friendly team of experts on hand to listen and offer advice should you need it.”

Cllr Ashley Pearce, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Education, said: “Young people receiving their results this year are doing so under extraordinary circumstances.
“The feelings of uncertainty students have experienced over the last few months due to coronavirus restrictions will continue to the day they receive their exam results and possibly beyond.
“This year, more than ever, it is vital that young people have somewhere to go for help and advice after receiving their results and I would encourage them to take advantage of the skilled support being offered by the team at Elevate.”

The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) has also published a list of national resources for students receiving their exam results this summer.
Their web page includes information for students who do not receive the results they wanted with details of the process for making an appeal and finding out about autumn exams.
There are also details of national support helplines, such as the Exam Results Helpline (0800 100 900)

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