Fareham teen says BTEC students still 'in the dark' over their results

A TEENAGER says many students have been ‘left in the dark’ following a change to education results this week.

Wednesday, 19th August 2020, 12:01 pm
Molly Goodman, 19 from Locks Heath, graduated from Fareham College with a BTEC in cookery. Picture: Keith Woodland

Following a backlash over downgraded A-level results, which affected more than 39 per cent of all grades, the government opted to switch to teacher-assessed results for both A-levels and the upcoming GCSE results.

But this still leaves one group of students who are unsure about their future.

Courses accredited by the Business and Technology Education Council, known as BTECs, are still under review by the Department for Education.

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But with students not sitting their final exams, it is thought by many that the algorithm for their results won’t be changed.

Molly Goodman from Locks Heath was a BTEC cookery student at Fareham College, and on results day received a pass grade due to her cancelled exam.

But after receiving distinctions and merits throughout her course, she had hoped for a higher grade – and isn’t optimistic about it changing.

The 19-year-old said: ‘When I asked my tutor, I was told that because we have work that was incomplete, we can’t get the top marks, so we’re probably just going to end up missing out.

‘People think of BTEC students as less intelligent but that's certainly not the case.

‘For people planning to go to university, it puts everything in jeopardy because they’re being left in the dark; that’s even before having to deal with uni places already being taken, accommodation and so on.’

In 2019, it was estimated that around 250,000 students took BTECs.

Molly’s future is secure – in September she is starting work at La Villa Archange in Cannes, France – which has two Michelin Stars.

But she fears for the futures of her friends and others up and down the country, whose algorithm-determined results could change the course of their lives.

‘I don’t know why the government didn’t just use teacher-assessed grades to begin with,' she said.

‘It’s caused a lot of unnecessary hassle for a lot of students.’

Education secretary Gavin Williamson said the Department for Education is working alongside Pearson, which awards BTECs, to reach a solution.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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