With A’level results out today students may be left a little disappointed as the marking process returns to pre-pandemic grading.
In particular, many of this years A-level students enjoyed a bumper set of GCSE results two years ago when exams were cancelled due to the pandemic. GCSE grades were awarded by teacher assessment with a record-breaking 30% of those entries receiving top 7s, 8s and 9s grades, equivalent to As and A*s.
Some forecasters have predicted that up to 50,000 students are likely to miss out on the top grades that they would have achieved had they taken their A-levels last year rather than this spring.
There are additional fears that this could disproportionately affect disadvantaged students who in previous years may not have sat A-levels but were encouraged to do so this year due to their GCSE results.
We don’t have the figures yet, but these unusual circumstances might well mean that a higher proportion of disadvantaged pupils went on to enter A-levels this year than in a typical year
For those that didn’t receive the grades that they were hoping for, there are options available. Here’s a quick reminder of the support you can offer your pupils:
Contacting the university:
If a pupil has not received the grades that they need to go to university, they should try to contact their preferred university who may be able to offer some flexibility.
Students may benefit from university places which haven’t yet been filled outside of the normal application window. Watch this video from UCAS about more information on Clearing.
Pupils can resit their exams for all A level subjects next summer which may help them if they want to go to a specific university or college.
An alternative to a traditional 3-year degree, HTQs are job focused qualifications which provide students with the skills some employers are looking for. They are level 4 or 5 qualifications, including Higher National Certificates (HNCs), Higher National Diplomas (HNDs), Certificates of Higher Education (CertHes) and Foundation Degrees.
There are now more than 670 high quality apprenticeships in a wide range of roles and from Autumn 2023 students can search for apprenticeships via UCAS as well the find an apprenticeship website.
School leavers scheme:
Some companies offer school leaver schemes to young people who have completed A levels. The schemes allow young people to learn and train with a large company while earning a wage.
School leaver schemes are usually like graduate schemes, except they’re aimed at school leavers. Employers create their own schemes, so students need to search for school leaver schemes or check each company’s website to see if a school leaver scheme is available and to apply.
Education Conferences would like to wish you and your pupils the very best of luck on A-level results day.