From education to employment

Students from disadvantaged backgrounds risk losing out most from Government’s exams decision

Exam paper

In response to yesterday’s announcement that A-levels will be awarded based on teacher assessments in England, Steve Haines, Director of Public Affairs at education charity Impetus (@ImpetusPEF) said: 

“Teacher assessed grades for this year’s cohort of A-level students risk grade inflation. We know that the exam grades of high-attaining young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to be under-predicted.

“With record university application numbers, additional competition for the remaining places means universities must put fair access at the heart of their admissions policies for 2021.  

“To help to level the playing field in the race for places, universities must:

  1. Commit to their widening participation aims by prioritising young people from disadvantaged and under-represented backgrounds for remaining 2021 offer-making.
  2. Following A-Level results, wait until after the appeals process is completed before confirming places.  
  3. Where courses are oversubscribed, not force students from disadvantaged backgrounds to defer.

“Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds have been disproportionately affected by the upheaval of the last year. We all want young people to get the opportunities that reflect their ability, so today’s announcement must come with measures that support all young people to gain the university offers their hard work deserves.”

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