Students receive A-level results as ministers in England aim to restore pre-pandemic grades

College leavers throughout the nation are waking up to their A-level results in a yr when ministers in England are aiming to restore pre-pandemic grades.

A whole lot of hundreds of scholars in England, Wales and Northern Eire are receiving grades to assist them progress on to college, work or coaching – with the proportion of high A-level results anticipated to fall on final yr.

Final yr, greater than a 3rd (36.4 per cent) of UK A-level entries have been awarded A or A* grades, in contrast to 44.8 per cent in 2021 and 38.5 per cent in 2020.

Students might face extra competitors for college locations this yr due to a development in 18-year-olds in the inhabitants and worldwide demand, it has been recommended.

In England, exams regulator Ofqual has mentioned this yr’s A-level results shall be decrease than final yr – however they’re anticipated to be comparable to these in 2019.

In 2019 – the final summer time earlier than the pandemic – round one in 4 (25.4 per cent) UK A-level entries have been awarded A or A* grades.

However in Wales and Northern Eire, examination regulators have mentioned they don’t count on to return to pre-pandemic grading requirements till 2024.

The cohort of scholars who’re receiving their A-level results didn’t sit GCSE exams and have been awarded teacher-assessed grades amid the pandemic.

Leaders in the schooling sector have warned that this cohort might face better disappointment on A-level results day as they could have increased expectations after receiving record-high GCSE results in 2021.

Geoff Barton, basic secretary of the Affiliation of College and School Leaders (ASCL), informed the PA information company: “Their aspirations may have been raised due to the results they acquired at GCSE.

It’s a little bit of a large number and the perfect recommendation is for individuals to act swiftly

Nick Hillman, Increased Training Coverage Institute

“And but what they’re going to see [on Thursday] in most circumstances is that nevertheless their sister or brother did final yr getting a string of high grades that’s much less possible to occur this yr.”

Mr Barton added that he has heard anecdotal proof that some academics have predicted grades for college students “extra akin” to through the pandemic years regardless of the return to pre-Covid grading requirements in England this yr.

“Whereas we’ll at all times see some disappointment on results day, that disappointment could be intensified if these younger individuals really feel that truly, the form of grades they have been getting by way of the yr and on their Ucas reference from the college mirrored one thing increased than in actuality they may very well be getting [on Thursday],” he mentioned.

Faculties Minister Nick Gibb has mentioned examination results in England want to return to pre-pandemic ranges to guarantee A-levels carry “weight and credibility” with employers and universities.

However he mentioned “further safety” is in place this yr the place grade boundaries shall be altered if senior examiners discover nationwide proof of a drop in requirements in contrast with 2019.

I’m extremely pleased with all college students receiving their results at the moment

Training Secretary Gillian Keegan

It comes after Covid-19 led to a rise in high A-level and GCSE grades in 2020 and 2021, with results primarily based on trainer assessments as an alternative of exams.

Nick Hillman, director of the Increased Training Coverage Institute (Hepi), informed PA: “For me, the largest issues are possible to be round individuals who get much less good results than they anticipated and who might then miss their agency supply and probably additionally their insurance coverage supply.

“Bear in mind, that is the cohort that acquired stellar GCSE grades so greater than regular shall be disillusioned by their deflated A-level results and they’ll then discover there’s much less selection than in latest years in clearing.”

He added: “Even when they do discover a place they’re pleased with, they could then battle to discover respectable lodging, which is in quick provide in many cities. It’s a little bit of a large number and the perfect recommendation is for individuals to act swiftly.”

As of Wednesday morning, the day earlier than A-level results day, a PA pattern of 130 of the UK’s largest increased schooling suppliers confirmed there have been 22,521 programs with vacancies for undergraduate college students residing in England on the Ucas clearing web site.

The same evaluation final yr carried out the day earlier than A-level results day, confirmed there have been 22,685 programs with vacancies on the clearing web site – which is barely greater than the quantity out there this yr.

Clearing is obtainable to college students who don’t meet the circumstances of their supply on A-level results day, as effectively as those that didn’t receive any presents.

Students who’ve modified their minds about what or the place they want to research, and in addition those that have utilized outdoors the traditional software window, can even use the method.

Final week, Ucas chief govt Clare Marchant urged college students to be “fast off the mark” on A-level results day as mentioned she believed a variety of the extremely selective programs would go shortly in clearing.

Students in England have confronted some stage of disruption to their education due to Covid-19, as effectively as a collection of trainer strikes since February this yr.

Carl Cullinane, director of analysis and coverage on the Sutton Belief social mobility charity, warned that the return to pre-pandemic grading for this yr’s A-levels “doesn’t bode effectively for deprived college students.”

He informed PA: “Deprived younger individuals have been impacted most by college closures and have confronted additional disruption by way of the cost-of-living disaster.

“With an strategy to grading this yr which doesn’t take account of those experiences, much less well-off younger individuals are dealing with a cliff edge.

“Universities ought to take into account the disruption totally different younger individuals have confronted when confirming locations on the again of A-level results.”

T-level results will even be acquired by hundreds of scholars in England on Thursday, and kids throughout the nation shall be awarded their stage 3 vocational and technical qualification (VTQ) examination results.

Training Secretary Gillian Keegan mentioned: “I’m extremely pleased with all college students receiving their results at the moment. For a lot of, it will have been the primary set of formal exams they’ve ever taken, having confronted unprecedented circumstances in the years increase to this summer time.

“I do know younger individuals may have risen to the problem, and hundreds will get the results they want to snatch their future, whether or not at college, by way of an apprenticeship or in the world of labor.

“There are extra choices than ever earlier than and an enormous quantity of assist out there, whether or not pupils get the results they wished or not.

“Congratulations to each younger particular person taking their subsequent step and thanks to the academics who helped them get there.”

In Scotland, the Scottish {Qualifications} Authority (SQA) has taken a delicate strategy to grading and modified course assessments this yr.

Figures launched by the SQA final week confirmed the move price for exams in Scotland is down from final yr, but it surely stays above 2019 ranges.

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