Thousands of students across Merton received their A Level and other course results today, the culmination of many months’ hard work from both them and their teachers during a tumultuous academic year.
With this summer’s exams cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the final grades for this year’s courses were calculated using a number of factors including predicted grades, coursework, and previous exams. Grades were initially awarded by teachers, and then moderated by exam boards.
While many students are rightfully celebrating today, the council recognises fully that this year’s process has resulted in some students having their initial grades lowered, after moderation by exam boards downgraded 39% of centre assessed grades (i.e. the grades originally given by teachers) nationwide.
Any student who feels their grades do not reflect their true ability should talk to their school or college about their options. The Government has promised students three routes to a final grade:
- Their calculated grade – awarded today
- A written exam in the autumn
- An appeal through their college/school if the calculated grade is lower than their mock exam results.
However, our schools and colleges are still waiting for Government guidance on which papers and mock exams might be eligible for the purposes of regrading.
Due to the likelihood that a large number of students will appeal grades, we will be unable to produce a reliable borough-wide set of results for a number of weeks.
Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for Schools, Councillor Eleanor Stringer, said: “Firstly, we have to recognise that everybody, regardless of today’s announcements, has put in an incredible amount of work – both students and teachers, as well as parents who have supported their children tirelessly – through this academic year.
“We must also not take anything away from those students who are today celebrating their grades; they have earned them.
“But of course we have to recognise that in an unprecedented year, with everything being done for the first time, others appear to have been downgraded from their predictions, and they will feel let down and worried about their futures.
“For students in this position, we encourage you to talk to your school or college, who will help you clarify your options now, and will support you to find the best way forward for you.”