ASCL pays tribute to students and teachers ahead of A-level results day

09/08/2021
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders comments ahead of the publication of results for A levels, AS levels and vocational qualifications on Tuesday 10 August. 
 
Commenting ahead of the publication of results for A-levels, AS-levels and vocational qualifications on Tuesday 10 August, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

This will be a results day like no other. The global pandemic and huge disruption to the education system has hugely impacted on learning and caused a change in the way that this year’s A-levels and other qualifications are assessed with public exams cancelled and teachers assessing students instead. 

“Students deserve huge credit for their fortitude in such circumstances, and teachers for the enormous amount of work they have put into implementing this system at great speed following the government’s abject failure to prepare a contingency plan for exams being cancelled.

“There has been speculation about the possibility of grade inflation this year. 

“It would not be surprising if the distribution of grades is different from years when exams take place, or indeed the grade distribution last year, because this year’s approach to assessment is different from other years and making direct comparisons is therefore akin to comparing apples with oranges.

“This does not represent a devaluing of the grades awarded. On the contrary. This cohort of students has suffered more educational disruption than any cohort since the second world war and their achievements are extraordinary in such difficult circumstances and should be celebrated.

“There have also been reports about pressure on university places. We are sure the vast majority of students will achieve their preferred place. Where students miss grades and enter the clearing process then universities, schools, and colleges will be doing everything possible to support them in obtaining a place on a course which fulfils their aspirations. 

“This is an anxious time in any year, but we would reassure students that they will progress to the next stage of their lives and can look forward to bright futures. We wish them well.