Results day this year has been even more strained for A-level students because all exams were cancelled due to the coronavirus. Students have received results based on their teachers’ predictions and taking into account factors including the past performance of their school. But there are fears that this process has been moderated unfairly, and without taking into account students’ individual circumstances. Some have dropped two or three grades below what their teacher predicted.

Councillor David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council and Portfolio Holder for Schools, said: “A-level results day is always a nervous occasion. It’s natural for students to ask themselves ‘has enough work been done?’ or ‘were the exam questions answered fully enough?’

“On a day that can change the future direction of your life, it is not surprising that 17 and 18-year-olds felt apprehensive this morning – particularly this year when, through no fault of their own, they were not able to actually take the exams.

“What they needed today was clarity that the system deciding the grades they would have achieved was fair and transparent.

“What we have found instead is there are different systems in different parts of the British Isles, and a lot of confusion about the way forward if, like the young man I spoke to, you had been given two grades lower than those you received in your mocks. In a time of uncertainty, our young people deserve more than they got today.”

Students who do not get the grades they were expecting today have two further options:

  1. They can retake the exams in the autumn
  2. They can speak to their school, which can lodge an appeal on their behalf. Pupils cannot appeal against their grades themselves.

The appeals process for schools is being published by the Joint Council for Qualifications which represents exam boards