Stuart Anderson MP's Letter to A-Level and GCSE Students

*Please note that this page is being regularly updated with information about this year's GCSE, A-Level and AS-Level results. It was originally published on Thursday, the 13th of August 2020. For official information, you should visit the Department for Education's dedicated Government webpage, which is https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-education

I would like to extend my warm wishes to everyone receiving academic and vocational results at the moment. As a parent, I know that this has been a particularly challenging time for many young people, especially with the impact Covid-19 has had on the final few months of study.

On Friday, the 14th of August 2020, I wrote to the Secretary of State for Education to express concerns constituents had raised with me about Ofqual's standardisation model for A-Level, AS-Level, and GCSEs. I welcome Ofqual's more recent decision which means that students awaiting their GCSE grades on Thursday (the 20th of August) will receive their centre assessment grade from their school or college, and students who received their A or AS level results last Thursday (the 13th of August) will be reissued their centre assessment grade. If students’ calculated grades were higher than the centre assessment grade, their calculated grade will stand.

Cancelling summer exams was a decision that no Government wanted to take. These are extraordinary times, and I know that this was a vital though unprecedented step in the country’s efforts to stop the spread of Coronavirus. I hope that Ofqual's decision will remove as much stress and uncertainty for young people as possible and that it will enable head teachers and teachers to plan for the term ahead. To help young people and their parents or carers, a national exam results helpline has been set up. It started on Thursday the 13th of August and will run until Friday the 28th of August. The number for this free service is 0800 100 900.

UCAS is working with the relevant organisations to ensure that universities and colleges have the Centre Assessment Grades (CAGs) they need as swiftly and securely as possible. The Government is working closely with the sector to create additional capacity and ensure they are as flexible as possible. Students who previously missed their offer and will now meet it on the basis of their centre assessment grade should get in contact with the university. Those who have accepted an offer will be able to release themselves if they have another offer reinstated.

If students remain unsatisfied with grades, it is worth bearing in mind that students can ask for an ‘appeal’ through their school or college, or have the option to resit exams in the autumn.

Please be reassured that this Government and I are doing all that we can to ensure that young people can move on successfully to the next stage of their life. As part of this, we have introduced a variety of schemes which build on our 'levelling up' agenda.

These schemes include:

  • A Kickstart Scheme, which will create hundreds of thousands of high quality jobs for young people at the highest risk of long-term unemployment – helping to build skills, experience and confidence in the workplace. The Government is funding jobs created under this scheme for 16-24 year-olds, covering 100 per cent of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, for six months in total.
  • High quality traineeships for young people – the Government is providing extra funding this year for traineeships in England, to fund high quality work placements and training for 16-24 year olds. For the first time ever, the Government will fund employers who provide trainees with work experience, at a rate of £1,000 per trainee. We will also increase the eligibility of Traineeships to include young people qualified up to Level 3, up from Level 2 currently.
  • Providing £2,000 to employers for each new apprentice they hire under the age of 25, helping more people into the workplace while developing key skills.
  • Giving young people who have just left school the skills that they need to find work in high-value sectors, such as engineering, construction, and social care. We are providing funding to 18 and 19 year olds to take high value courses at Levels 2 and 3 where work opportunities are not available.
  • Expanding the support on offer to help people find a job, so that they can get back on their feet and into work – for example, we are doubling the number of Work Coaches through Job Centre Plus, and we will recruit more advisers for the National Careers Service.

Finally, I know that this has been a difficult time. Please be assured that we are doing all that we can to ensure that young people can move onto the next stage of their life. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me and my team and I would be more than happy to help. You can email stuart.anderson.mp@parliament.uk 

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