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Thousands of students set to receive GCSEs today after chaotic A-level results

PUBLISHED: 05:00 20 August 2020

Jess Hennesy, left, and Chloe Brown celebrate their GCSE results at Wymondham High Academy in 2019. Picture: Denise Bradley

Jess Hennesy, left, and Chloe Brown celebrate their GCSE results at Wymondham High Academy in 2019. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant

After a challenging year which has seen pupils unable to sit their exams, thousands of Norfolk students are set to receive their GCSE results today.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders. Picture: Archant LibraryGeoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders. Picture: Archant Library

Despite suggestions earlier this week that pupils would not receive their results on Thursday, the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ), which represents the exam boards, confirmed anxious teenagers would be given their “final grades as usual”.

It comes amid confusion about how GCSE results day would run following the government’s announcement that both A-level and GCSE results will now be based on centre assessed grades.

High five from Iwan Cary, left, and Jack Andrews, as they celebrate their GCSE results at Wymondham High Academy in 2019. Picture: Denise BradleyHigh five from Iwan Cary, left, and Jack Andrews, as they celebrate their GCSE results at Wymondham High Academy in 2019. Picture: Denise Bradley

MORE: What does the exams U-turn mean for A-level and GCSE students?



Headteachers in Norfolk have hit out at the U-turn, which came just three days before GCSE results were released, and four days after an A-level results day which saw almost 40pc of students discover they had been downgraded.

One Norfolk high school headteacher, who preferred not to be named, said: “The whole thing has been a mess from start to finish.

“It has been so unfair on students who have worked so hard, but hopefully the results they will now receive will bring some clarity and allow them to look forward.”

John Fisher, cabinet member for childrens services. Picture: Norfolk County CouncilJohn Fisher, cabinet member for childrens services. Picture: Norfolk County Council

John Fisher, cabinet member for children’s services at Norfolk County Council, said despite the debate over grading, students deserved praise after a difficult year.

He said: “Although students were not able to sit exams this year, I hope they will be satisfied with the grades they have worked hard for. They have shown remarkable resilience during an extraordinary time. Studying at home with the support of teachers and families must have been a very different experience.

Students from the Hewett Academy in Norwich receive their GCSE results in 2019. Picture: Victoria PertusaStudents from the Hewett Academy in Norwich receive their GCSE results in 2019. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

MORE: All A-level and GCSE pupils to get teacher assessed grades



“The best of luck to those students who will be heading into further education, training, apprenticeships or the job of their choice. For those who haven’t received the results they hoped for, there is plenty of support and advice available.”

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), and a former Bury St Edmunds headteacher, said: “GCSE results day will be a lot better than the chaos of A-level results day last week when students were left distraught upon receiving grades which had been moderated down, often without any apparent rhyme or reason.

“The decision to revert to centre-assessed grades is the fairest option in the circumstances.

“We understand that some students will feel unhappy that they are unable to appeal their centre-assessed grades.”

He said reverting to centre-assessed grades means that, overall, more students will receive higher GCSE grades this year than in past years.

ADVICE FOR STUDENTS

Help and advice is on offer for those who may have not done as well as expected, changed their mind or don’t have anything for in place for September.

Who can you speak to about your plans?

• Speak to the careers teacher/adviser at the school you went to - they will be able to offer you help and advice.

• Get in touch with the sixth form or college you have applied to - find out whether they will still give you a place on your chosen course. Even if you have not achieved the grades required for the course you may still be able to get a place on another suitable course.

• Visit our Help You Choose website to search for the latest courses and qualifications in sixth forms and colleges or look for apprenticeships, traineeships and training vacancies. Use our web chat service for careers advice.

• Speak to an adviser at Norfolk’s Help You Choose Helpline on: 0344 800 8022 - if you are not fixed up and need impartial advice or support.

• The National Careers Service can help you decide on your post 16 and 18 options. To speak to a careers adviser about your exam results call 0800 100 900, open 8am to 10pm, 7 days a week. Calls are free from landlines and most mobile numbers.

• For more information about what to do on results day see The Student Room GCSE results advice.


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