For the Class of Covid-19, Thursday 13 August was supposed to be a day of celebration, jubilation and discovery as a cohort of young people embark on the next chapter of their lives as they collected their A-Level results. However, for many of these students, the celebrations turned into commiserations as nearly 40 per cent of A-Level students received grades lower than they were predicted due to an algorithm.
The OFQUAL algorithm was designed to determine results in a year in which the coronavirus caused chaos for students and parents alike, resulting in examinations being cancelled. After widespread public outrage and protests outside 10 Downing Street, the Government made a dramatic U-turn and decided students would be able to obtain grades based on their teacher assessments.
Luke Pollard MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport said:
“This whole fiasco has robbed young people in Plymouth of their opportunity, and it won’t soon be forgotten. This U-turn should have happened a fortnight ago. In that time, countless young people have lost places at university, been denied opportunities and had their confidence kicked by a Government algorithm that was biased, unfair and cruel.
“I have been calling for a U-turn since this problem surfaced last week, and it is shameful that Ministers have turned a blind eye to the distress and lost opportunities it has caused for so long.
“Ministers had five months to prepare for A-Level and GCSE results, but they seem to be making it up as they go along, unconcerned that hard-working students from poorer communities were downgraded more than those from private schools. Plymouth’s young people deserve so much better.”