A-level results day 2021: Recap the updates and reaction as students in Portsmouth, Gosport, Fareham, Havant and Waterlooville collected grades

Thousands of pupils across Portsmouth and Hampshire have collected their A-level results.

Ella Gillett with her results at Portsmouth High School - she achieved 3 A*s. Picture: Habibur Rahman

There were plenty of smiles and sighs of relief as students found out what grades they have achieved this morning.

Once again exams have been cancelled due to the on-going Covid pandemic and the results are based on teacher assessments – drawing on a range of evidence, including mock exams, coursework and in-class assessments using questions by exam boards.

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Undated file photo of students sitting an exam. Picture: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Results day has also been moved slightly earlier in 2021, taking place on a Tuesday instead of the normal Thursday in mid-August slot, with GCSE’s being collected then instead.

Ofqual interim chief regulator Simon Lebus told the BBC that pupils in England awaiting their A-level and GCSE results can “feel satisfied” that their grades are fair this summer.

He said there have been three stages of checks to ensure students can feel they have been “fairly treated”, including Ofqual checking the policies that schools have for awarding grades and exam boards looking over them.

Our reporters and photographers will be out at colleges and sixth forms in Portsmouth, Gosport and Fareham this morning to speak to teachers and students.

Follow our live updates in our blog below throughout the day!

You can subscribe here for unlimited access to our online coverage, including Pompey, for 27p a day.

Recap updates from A-Level results day in Portsmouth and Hampshire

Last updated: Tuesday, 10 August, 2021, 10:00

  • Students collecting grades
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Welcome to our live blog!

We have reporters down at sixth forms and colleges across the Portsmouth area.

So we will be bringing you all the latest updates and reactions throughout the morning.

Stick with us for all our comprehensive coverage!

Students can feel ‘satisfied’ that grades are fair

Ofqual interim chief regulator Simon Lebus told the BBC that pupils in England awaiting their A-level and GCSE results can “feel satisfied” that their grades are fair this summer.

He said there have been three stages of checks to ensure students can feel they have been “fairly treated”, including Ofqual checking the policies that schools have for awarding grades and exam boards looking over them.

The grades were submitted by teachers who made their decisions on pupils’ grades after drawing on a range of evidence, including mock exams, coursework and in-class assessments using questions by exam boards.

Starmer hits out at Government ‘chaos’ over exam replacements

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has warned that “chaos and incompetence” in Government has created extra stress for school and college pupils as they await exam results.

Tens of thousands of students in England will receive their A-level and GCSE results this month after exams were cancelled for the second year in a row due to the pandemic.

Students will be given grades determined by teachers, rather than exams, with pupils only assessed on what they have been taught during the pandemic.

Sir Keir said Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Education Secretary Gavin Williamson had failed to act early enough to ensure this summer’s results operations run smoothly.

The Department for Education said a “rigorous system to ensure grades are fair” has been put in place.

Sir Keir said: “I have a very vivid memory of the day I got my A-level results – of the pressure, nerves and worry that my entire path could be determined by what was on that sheet of paper.

“It frustrates me immensely that this week’s big moment in so many young people’s lives is being risked by the chaos and incompetence at the top of this Government.”

Labour has set a series of tests for the Government to meet, including a “next step guarantee” for pupils to move forward after their results.

What is the plan for the summer exams in 2022?

In England, ministers hope that exams will go ahead in summer 2022 after two years of cancelled exams.

But pupils taking GCSE and A-level exams next year could be given advance notice on the focus of exam papers to ensure they are not disadvantaged as a result of lost learning during the pandemic.

The proposals include giving schools and colleges some choice over the topics that students are assessed on, as well as providing exam aids, but final details will not be confirmed until the autumn term.

Why is A-level results day earlier this year?

Instead of taking place on a Thursday in mid-August, A-level results day has been moved forward.

Top private accommodation for students in Portsmouth

If you have been accepted into the University of Portsmouth after getting your results back today, you might be turning your attention to planning your move to the city.

For those who want to stay in private accommodation, we have pulled together a guide of the best 5 halls in the city.

What is clearing and how does it work?

Hopefully you won’t be needing this today, but we have pulled together a guide for students who have to go through clearing.

It explains what the process is and all you need to know.

“Employers can have real confidence” in the grades

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has said “employers can have real confidence” in the grades awarded to pupils.

Speaking to Sky News, he said: “This is a culmination of 13 years in education, I think we should be incredibly proud of their achievements, incredibly proud of the grades that they achieve.”

He said: “We do have a rigorous system of grading and awarding. People have been awarded this grade on the basis of evidence.

“We took a difficult decision, and that decision was children were to be assessed on what they had been taught. We have seen various amounts of disruption around the country and children’s experiences have been different.

“But still, you have a very clear grading system, you still see children who are achieving A*s, As, Bs, Cs, have really achieved so very, very much, and I think employers can have real confidence in the grades that they get. Let’s not forget this is an unprecedented year.”

Teachers are waiting for students to arrive at Portsmouth High School

Portsmouth High School

Picture: Habibur Rahman

Happy faces at Portsmouth High School

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