Suffolk: Colleges to ensure students don’t miss out on A-level chances

SCHOOLS and colleges have pledged to help students who may have lost out due to a change in marking their GCSEs.

Many youngsters were left worried after getting lower grades than expected in their GCSE English examinations – leading some to fear that they might not be able to carry on with A-levels they had planned to start next month.

However the message from sixth forms was that they should still be able to start their courses.

Most sixth forms require all students starting A level courses to have at least Grade C English at GCSE – whatever subject they are planning to study.

The apparent downgrading of English results meant that some students who had been confident of getting Grade C English had found themselves with Grade D.

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At Suffolk One sixth form college on the edge of Ipswich – which accepts students from across the town and from high schools from Holbrook to Hadleigh and Claydon – staff urged students to contact them if they had missed their target.

Vice Principal Jenny Milsom said: “The main issue seems to be the inconsistency. Some schools have seen results below expectations, but three of our partner schools have had better than expected English results.

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“If youngsters have ended up with a D when they expected better and their other grades are good then we would expect to accommodate them. They should come and talk to us to see what we can do.”

Stowmarket High School was angry after only 36pc of pupils got five passes between A*-C, including English and maths. Head Keith Penn said: “We are shocked and hugely disappointed with those results.

“There appears to be a national problem with GCSE results, particularly in English but possibly across other subjects too.”

Suffolk county councillor with responsibility for young people and education Graham Newman said: “There are concerns that exam results have been devalued in recent years, but this year there do seem to have been some unexpected results.”

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