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Almost 3,000 Norfolk students in limbo from BTEC results fiasco

PUBLISHED: 17:06 21 August 2020 | UPDATED: 17:45 21 August 2020

City College Norwich where BTEC subjects including vocational training like engineering. Picture: Keith Whitmore

City College Norwich where BTEC subjects including vocational training like engineering. Picture: Keith Whitmore

Copyright © Keith Whitmore

Thousands of Norfolk students face uncertainty over BTEC exam results.

Dr Catherine Richards, principal of East Norfolk Sixth Form College in Gorleston. Picture: James BassDr Catherine Richards, principal of East Norfolk Sixth Form College in Gorleston. Picture: James Bass

Colleges have expressed their dismay that students have been left waiting for their final grades for the vocational qualifications after being told not to give out results at the last minute.

Exam body Pearson said it would be re-grading all its BTECs to bring them in line with A-levels and GCSEs, which are now being graded via centre-based assessments.

MORE: Schools say GCSE results ‘true reflection’ as pass rate surges

Level 1 and 2 BTEC students had been due to receive their results on Thursday, while those who received Level 3 grades last week will now see them re-graded to “address concerns about unfairness”.

Students at City College Norwich where hundreds have been hit by delays in BTEC results. Picture: Keith WhitmoreStudents at City College Norwich where hundreds have been hit by delays in BTEC results. Picture: Keith Whitmore

A number of Norfolk colleges offer BTEC courses, including the University Technical College (UTC), City College Norwich, Easton College and East Norfolk Sixth Form College and Paston College.

Dr Catherine Richards, principal of East Norfolk Sixth Form College in Gorleston, said 200 students still had no results and a further 600 will see their Level 3 results regraded.

“It is clearly quite a challenge for us to have that many students affected one way of the other,” she said.

Students receiving their grades at East Norfolk Sixth Form College in Gorleston in 2016. But this year hundreds of BTEC students have seen delays or regrading.

 Picture: James BassStudents receiving their grades at East Norfolk Sixth Form College in Gorleston in 2016. But this year hundreds of BTEC students have seen delays or regrading. Picture: James Bass

“We have students who have university places but cannot now confirm until they know the outcome.”

College of West Anglia, which has campuses in King’s Lynn and Wisbech, has 725 Level 3 students being regarded, while 410 Level 1 and 2 students still have no results.

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A spokesman said: “It is very frustrating for them to have to wait longer for their results. However, most of these students will be progressing internally to a further course at college and the delay in results will not prevent them from starting their next course in September.”

MORE: Students still face new grades scramble for university places

Jerry White, deputy principal at City College Norwich, which has 250 without results and 750 being regraded, said: “In most cases Level 1 and 2 students will either be using those to progress internally within college so we are being as flexible as possible. We know the students well so we will be able to make good decisions about how they progress.”

The outcome of the Pearson grade review, expected next week, will not result in lower grades but some may be raised.

Mr White said the delay would leave BTEC students “four or five days behind their A-level compatriots chasing the same university places”.

‘Like he’s a second-class student’

Caleb Taylor, 19, is waiting for the results of his Level 3 BTEC in computing and business.

His father Richard said he has been unable to enrol at his college to study his Level 4 next year without knowing his final grades.

He said: “I think it’s a disgrace. He feels like he is a second-class student, and BTECS are seen as less important than A-levels because they have been sorted out last.

“Technical qualifications shouldn’t be seen as less than. My son is really anxious because he doesn’t know what he will be doing next year.

“He plans to go to university but it is a good thing he didn’t want to go this year because he would have missed out on his place.”


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