Fears A-level grade crackdown could harm pupils’ mental health

1 month ago 14

Final-year pupils awaiting their A-level results adjacent week volition consciousness they person got an “unfair deal” if they miss retired connected assemblage places owed to a crackdown connected people inflation, according to teachers who person shared their fears astir the interaction connected students’ intelligence health.

Julie Richardson, the headteacher of Verulam schoolhouse successful St Albans, said her pupils would beryllium “frustrated” if predictions from the University of Buckingham of a 10% autumn successful A and A* grades materialise adjacent week.

The “Covid generation” of twelvemonth 13 students person experienced 2 years of disruption, including the 2020 U-turn implicit their GCSE results – erstwhile the authorities agreed marks should beryllium awarded by teacher assessments aft the usage of an algorithm led to astir 40% of predicted grades being downgraded.

“That was remedied but that did origin important strain connected twelvemonth 11s astatine the time. That won’t beryllium forgotten, truthful they volition consciousness incredibly hard done by if [they person little grades] adjacent week,” she said.

“My biggest interest erstwhile it comes to our students, if results are 10% lower, is the interaction that could person connected their intelligence wellness and wellbeing. They’ve already been done important accent astatine GCSE.”

Although determination person been nary lockdowns this world year, determination has inactive been disruption owed to unit taking clip disconnected to retrieve from Covid and the accent caused by the pandemic.

Richardson said her schoolhouse – similar galore others – had important issues with staffing, including having nary spiritual acquisition teacher for a agelong period.

While her unit volition beryllium connected manus to counsel students connected however to spell done clearing if they miss their assemblage place, she said galore would beryllium disappointed. “I deliberation it’s precise hard for young radical erstwhile they’ve got their bosom acceptable connected going to a peculiar institution. It’s rather hard to get them to recognize that determination are different options and that it’s not a wholly mislaid cause.”

Maija, a teacher astatine a authorities schoolhouse successful Portsmouth, said she was feeling “very nervous” for her pupils adjacent week. “All the offers my students person received are for truly precocious grades and it’s truly hard to accidental close present what’s going to happen. My anticipation close present is that the universities volition beryllium flexible successful their offers.”

She said 4 of her students who were not expecting to conscionable their connection conditions were already readying to instrumentality a twelvemonth retired and use again adjacent year, which is antithetic successful her school.

She felt immoderate pupils had underperformed comparative to their imaginable due to the fact that online learning did not scope the aforesaid modular arsenic in-person lessons and they had been deprived of exam acquisition successful their GCSEs.

“I cognize a batch of teachers did their best. I did my best, but the contented I delivered isn’t comparable to what you tin bash face-to-face. Even the champion students said they switched connected the acquisition and past they switched off. It’s precise hard to follow. They had a afloat timetable and a batch of learning was lost,” she said.

“I deliberation astir of them, if you spoke to them, would accidental they had an unfair deal. On the different hand, they’re each successful the aforesaid position. Most of them bash recognize that it’s not their fault, but immoderate beingness choices were taken distant by this.”

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