How A-Level students can turn round the Government’s decision and get the grades they deserve

If you’re an A-level student in 2020, you’ve undoubtedly found yourself stranded in a sea of uncertainty, your rescuers (the government) providing you with a precarious algorithmic life raft to carry you to safety. For some, this felt like a dodgy blow-up boat from Barry’s bargain basement store and you felt you were left to drown. For you, my heart goes out to you.

No matter the solution that the government provided, it was never going to suffice as an alternative to traditional testing, however, basing UK student’s academic accomplishments on an algorithm derived from average results from previous years have brought great controversy and mass heartache. You will feel like you have worked hard for this and it has crushed your hopes to follow your dream.

This year, 280,000 teenagers have received a lowered grade based upon their teachers’ estimates and yet those achieving top results have reached a record high. The proportion of students awarded an A grade or higher has risen to an “all-time high with 27.9% securing top grades this year, figures from England, Wales and Northern Ireland show.”[1] Woohoo, go celebrate! However, it is clear that these collectivised statistics disregard the personal experiences of students this year, as can be seen when looking at individual’s stories.

Toby Newton, from Hillingdon in West London, was set to follow his dream of pursuing a career in medicine, with predicted grades of A* A* A. However, his journey came to an abrupt halt on results day when he was awarded two Bs and C, grades which did not meet the criteria of any of his offers to study medicine. In a statement, Toby admitted that “It was incredibly disheartening”[2] and feels personally let down by the government. Toby, like many others in his situation, plans to appeal his results and hopes that alternatively his mock grades can be used so that he may secure a place on his desired course. If you are in the same boat as Toby, you are thinking that the teacher should be the one going back to school and you should become the teacher!

Students have gathered to protest the government’s decision and demand that they reconsider their results. It is evident that the algorithm has produced the desired result on paper, but this has been at the cost of dashing the hopes of many individuals, who have received grades that do not reflect years of hard work.

Advice from Debbie Sweeney of Genzy Talent Academy:

My message to you is that some things are worth fighting for. If you feel that this will be a game-changer for you, how you will feel now, and in years to come and negatively impact your positive attitude to move forward to follow your dream then you have to take action. Use your venting time effectively and appeal to the right people as soon as you can, provide solid evidence to prove why you should get the grades you feel you should have and ensure you focus on logic and facts as much as possible. Avoid being personal to the receiver of your letter or Government. Start your letter with something positive or compliment first, this ensures that you are not one-sided and they are more likely to read your letter. For example, ‘I appreciate …, I am pleased with the support the Government has shown with …’. Be clear in your communication, do not waffle, and use bullet points and good spacing. Ask a parent or someone you trust to read the letter before you post it. Two minds are better than one

Go fight it, your future is in your hands and no one is going to stop you following your

dream. You have got this! Debbie 😊

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