A-level results day 2021: Pupils should take huge pride in achievements during pandemic - The Yorkshire Post says

Tens of thousands of pupils receiving their A-level results today should feel immense pride in their achievements having come through two years of sixth-form study in the midst of unprecedented disruption as a result of the Covid pandemic.

Thousands of students are anxiously finding out their results today as places at university become a premium with a record number of applications. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

With the national results expected to show a trend of slightly more generous grading this year compared to the past, there is likely to be much media focus today on cancellation of exams.

But the reality is that while external exams were indeed called off, many children have undergone so-called ‘mock’ exams at school that were in fact very real this year and contributed directly to their results.

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Assessments this year have considered a range of evidence - including mock exams, coursework and in-class assessments using questions from exam boards. Headteachers had to submit a personal declaration that they believed grades to be accurate.

There is actually a strong argument - which is backed by Ofqual interim chief regulator Simon Lebus - that this is a far fairer and more accurate system of assessing a student’s true ability than the usual “snapshot” provided by official exams.

What is not in doubt is that the idea that this year’s tranche of A-level students have had an easy ride due to the lack of external exams is anything other than a complete fallacy.

While the medical consequences of Covid have mainly affected older generations, the social consequences of repeated lockdowns have undoubtedly fallen hardest upon the young.

Those collecting their results today should take great satisfaction in what they have achieved.

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