Michelle Donelan has urged universities to be “flexible” and take into account a range of evidence when choosing which students to admit, as the political fallout continues over the now-cancelled mass downgrading of results in Scotland.
The turmoil there will do little in the way to reassure teenagers here, who are due to find out their grades on Thursday. The wait is always an anxious time for students, but especially this year, with their final months of learning and revision compounded by a global pandemic beyond their control.
With exams cancelled, schools were asked to submit the grades they thought students would have received in the tests and exam boards have moderated the results.
However, whilst such an approach was necessary given the unparalleled time, it does mean, of course, that young people have not had the same opportunity as peers in the years before them to prove themselves and demonstrate the skills and knowledge that they have worked hard to develop.
The qualifications and examinations regulator has outlined how its over-riding aim is to “be fair” and make sure young people are “not disadvantaged” in their progression.
This absolutely must be the case. Students should not be penalised for unforeseen conditions completely out of their hands.
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