I'm One Of Thousands Of A-Level Students Who Still Have No Grades – And No Hope - Rugby and Daventry Radio Station Midlands UK            

I’m One Of Thousands Of A-Level Students Who Still Have No Grades – And No Hope

Written by on September 1, 2020

Article Published on Tuesday September 1, 2020 7:00 AM by


I’m One Of Thousands Of A-Level Students Who Still Have No Grades – And No Hope


The author, Cléo-Isabela Lopéz

The A-Level crisis this summer has left every student with a stress on their minds that could never have been anticipated at the beginning of this academic year. Most A-Level students in schools and colleges have received grades. But thousands of external candidates, which include the likes of resit students, home-schooled students or people like me who find school difficult due to health issues, are still with no grades and no hope.

This year, I had been studying at home after signing up with a school to be my centre to sit my exams in the summer. Sixth form had been difficult for me due to my health issues – my polycystic ovarian syndrome and endometriosis cause so much chronic pain it hinder my mobility. I felt like studying instead an external candidate would really allow me to delve into my studies on a personal level and grow as a person with a new sense of independence.  A Hispanic girl from a working class family, I should have been excited to have obtained offers to study law and politics. But after the April announcement that exams had been cancelled across the country, my centre contacted me to let me know that they were unsure what this would mean for me as an external candidate.

The government’s solution to how external candidates would receive grades was to allow centres like my school to decide if they had ‘sufficient surety’ of the predicted grades we had already obtained, and then decide whether to grade them with their other students. My registered tutors had awarded me AAA predicted grades, the same predicted grades I had in my previous sixth form. I had sufficient evidence to prove my ability, but I was still rejected by five different centres across the country, including my own and two other schools I had attended. The government advised centres to be considerate of the situations external candidates were in, but this didn’t happen.

The government placed the responsibility of external candidates’ futures in the hands of every educational body but their own.

Worse, information for external candidates wasn’t being released at the same rate as that of other A-Level candidates. When I contacted Ofqual about my situation, they advised me that I would need to sit my exams at another time. This left external candidates with the prospect of losing our offers, and receiving no grades on results day.Instead, we would be robbed of the experience of other A-Level candidates, celebrating grades earned on results day. After that, we would have to put ourselves through the emotional difficulty of the UCAS application process once again.

To make matters worse, I was suffering with coronavirus at the time and the added stress was unbearable.The extreme pain in my lungs was so physically strenuous, the stress of having to desperately contact different institutions in hope of being saved from the consequences of receiving no grades made me feel like I was getting worse, not better.I felt like the government simply didn’t understand the pressure they were putting us under and, ultimately, it felt as though the government placed the responsibility of external candidates’ futures in the hands of every educational body but their own. We were failed by every layer of the system.

All this meant that on results day, most external candidates were given no grades – and no way to appeal this. The government quickly decided not to charge A-Level students to appeal their grades, yet external candidates are still being expected to pay to sit our exams at another time – even though we had no other choice. And when the government made their infamous u-turn and allowed A-Level candidates to use their predicted grades instead of algorithm-awarded grades, in an attempt to regain lost university offers, external candidates were never been given this opportunity.

I was left feeling discriminated against. Throughout this process the government have not treated our hard work with the same care as other students, and our registered tutors have not been given the same trust as teachers. It’s completely unjust.

External candidates like me have been living in a nightmare since results day. For many of us, we have been forced to sit our exams in autumn or the new year, and reapply for university. For financial reasons, I will have to wait until next year to sit my exams because I am supporting myself financially through my studies. I am constantly nervous about how I will have to work hard enough to pay for my studies again, and the government has still not made any provision in case the same situation arises in 2021. It terrifies me that this could happen again. 

I have no idea what this all means for my future, and I feel like my has put my life on hold.

On top of this, through no fault of our own, external candidates like me could face waiting an extra year on top of that, as university places become too competitive due to the huge amount of students likely taking gap years due to this crisis. I have no idea what this all means for my future, and I feel like my has put my life on hold.

The worst part is we have a simple answer to what we need from the Government. All we want is to be allowed to use our UCAS predicted grades, so that we might have the same opportunities as other A-Level students to attend uni this year. We may be a minority of A-Level students but there are still thousands of us, each with our own dreams and hard work being forgotten.

We do not want to be left behind. We do not want this government to let our futures become yet another casualty of this pandemic.

Cléo-Isabela López is an external candidate A-Level student from Liverpool, studying history, geography and politics while running a small business from home.

Have a compelling personal story you want to tell? Find out what we’re looking for here, and pitch us on [email protected]

Total Page Visits: 23 - Today Page Visits: 1
I’m One Of Thousands Of A-Level Students Who Still Have No Grades – And No Hope
Photo of I’m One Of Thousands Of A-Level Students Who Still Have No Grades – And No Hope | All Text and Images are the Copyright property of unless otherwise stated above. Where the Copyright ownership does not sit with the text and images are used under the creative commons and fair use frameworks with the relevant credits offered.

More: Daventry News | Rugby News | National and International News

Join Our Crimewatch and Community Pages:
Crimewatch and Community Pages
Looking for a Supplier, Service or Shop Locally? Visit Our FREE Directory!
Daventry Business Directory
Advert
Mobile Disco



 Welcome to the Daventry Radio Player. Click on the play button (Triangle) to listen to Daventry Radio