A-level results day 2020: Latest updates as students in Portsmouth and Hampshire receive grades

Thousands of pupils across Portsmouth and Hampshire will be nervously waiting to receive their A-level results.

Thursday, 13th August 2020, 5:00 am
Updated Thursday, 13th August 2020, 9:17 am

This will be a results day like no other, with this summer’s exams being cancelled because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Instead students will have been given grades based on their mock exams and progress this year – but late announcements from the government have caused confusion and worry for many schools.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, in an announcement on the government website, spoke of a ‘new triple-lock process’ to give ‘young people added security as they receive their grades this year’.

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It means students could accept their calculated grade based on teacher assessment, appeal to receive a valid mock result, or sit autumn exams.

Schools across our area are opening this morning for students to come in and receive their results. Others will email results to pupils.

One possible destination for those leaving school could be the University of Portsmouth, which has put plans in place to make sure it can safely reopen later this year.

Two Portsmouth College students with their results in 2019. Picture: Sarah Standing (150819-5484)

For freshers attending the university we have also put together a handy guide to what to expect from our city – you can read it here.

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

Follow our live updates below throughout the day!

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A-Level results day in Portsmouth and Hampshire - live updates

Last updated: Thursday, 13 August, 2020, 09:11

  • Students across the Portsmouth area are receiving their A-Level results today
  • Exams were cancelled this summer because of the pandemic so pupils have been assessed on past performance
  • We’d love to see your photos from results day! Email them to [email protected] and we’ll feature them online.

Good morning and welcome to A-Level results day 2020!

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

What should we expect?

This year’s results day will be very different, as this summer’s exams were cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead students will be graded based on past performance and mock exam results.

There is an appeals process in place but has been subject to a controversial late government announcement - you can read more about that here.

Schools will be opening so students can come in to receive results - others will be emailing grades out.

A-Level pupils will receive their results on Thursday (Getty Images)

We would love to see your photos from results day!

You can send them to [email protected] or message them to us on Facebook - and we’ll feature as many as we can.

Concerns over potentially unfair results

Portsmouth teacher and president of the country’s biggest teaching union, Amanda Martin, has raised concerns about students potentially not getting the grades they deserve ahead of A-level and GCSE results days.

With students unable to sit exams, their grades have been calculated based on teacher predictions along with the previous academic performance of individual schools.

It’s the potential weighting of previous school attainment which is of greatest concern to the National Education Union leader who fears whole cohorts of students could be unfairly penalised based on the performance of previous students.

Ms Martin said: ‘We have real concerns and feel this is totally unfair. It doesn’t take into account the performance of a cohort of students can change from year to year and schools can also improve. It will also disadvantage children from disadvantaged backgrounds.'

National Education Union president, Amanda Martin, is concerned that pupils may not get the grades they deserve on results days.

Education Secretary rules out further changes to grading system

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson ruled out further changes to the grading system in the face of any exams backlash.

He told Times Radio: 'What is clear to me is there will be some youngsters, no matter how much we try to do in terms of this system to maximise the fairness of it, who don't get the grade they should have potentially have got.

'That's why we need to have a really robust system, that's why we've got the triple lock.'

Mr Williamson said this would provide ‘robust grounds of appeal’ and allow pupils to take exams later in the year if required.

Asked if he was prepared to change the system again amid threats of legal action from parents, Mr Williamson replied: 'We're not going to be changing this system again.

'We believe that we've put in place - in terms of the triple lock, in terms of the actions we've taken - a system that is able to put its arm round those youngsters where there has been a grade that has been unfair on them and is able to put that right.'

Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson. Picture: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

Portsmouth High School begins welcoming students

WE'RE here at Portsmouth High School where A-level pupils are being welcomed from 8am.

It's understood pupils are also being sent their results by email at 8.15am in a bid to minimise social contact at the site.

Headmistress Jane Prescott said the school was not disclosing a breakdown of its results because it would 'not be fair' to her pupils, who are today receiving calculated grades after summer exams were cancelled across the country because of the coronavirus pandemic.

She did however say the percentage of A*s and As received by pupils is higher than previous years.

Jane Prescott, headmistress of Portsmouth High School

Very pleasing results for Oaklands Sixth Form College

Students at the Waterlooville sixth form are collecting results this morning. 

Mr Quinn, Headteacher,  said:  'Although the A Level courses were truncated by school closure, the outcomes are a credit to their hard work and that of our very talented and committed teachers. 

'The school continues to justify its strong reputation at Advanced Level. It is fantastic to see the progress made by many of our students from entry into Year 7 through to Year 13.

'The high grade profile achieved by our students will mean that the majority should gain entry to the university of their choice. 

‘There are a number of notable successes with students achieving Oxbridge places, obtaining the necessary grades to do medicine and other high profile degree and apprentice courses. This is to be celebrated.’ 

However this is not the full story.  Similar to many other schools and colleges a significant number of students have had the teacher assessment downgraded as a result of a statistical algorithm, some as many as five grades across their courses.  Oaklands A Level results were on an upward trajectory and this appears to have been ignored.

Mr Quinn added: 'Despite staff rigorously following the Dfe guidance this was always going to be an flawed system. 

'Our A level trajectory over the last couple of years has been positive and we had a hunch this would not be mirrored across all results. 

'The last minute announcement has increased the degree of uncertainty. Mock exams are a diagnostic or motivational tool not necessarily indicative of a student’s performance at the end of the course. 

'We should not lose sight of the success for many students, it is a pity that for some students today should have been a day of celebration and has been marred by future uncertainty and a system that has clearly disadvantaged some youngsters.

‘We will put all our efforts into helping every student navigate a route through this and onto their next step.' 

Fareham College ‘extremely proud’ as students collect results

Fareham College has announced that it achieved an exceptional pass rate of 99.4% in Level 3 qualifications.

 Andrew Kaye, Principal and Chief Executive, said: 'We are extremely proud of our students for achieving these outstanding results which are a true testament to their hard work and commitment. 

'Despite the many challenges presented by the COVID-19 crisis, staff and students adapted to working remotely very quickly and continued to focus on their studies until the end of the summer term and it is this unfaltering dedication, that has yet again produced exceptional results for our students. 

'Our strive for excellence through continual improvement is at the core of everything we do, and these results truly reflect the benefits our students gain learning from our industry-experienced teachers, in state-of-the-art facilities. 

'Level 3 qualifications have the great advantage of opening the door to different career paths. 

'Many offer the same route into university as A Levels and a number of our students are taking this route in September. 

'Other students are able to take advantage of Fareham College’s close business links and progress straight into employment. 

‘Students who have taken this option have secured full time employment or apprenticeships in organisations such as McLaren, Carnival, NATS, Hampshire County Council and South Western Railways.’

Portsmouth High School student ‘thrilled’ to be going to Cambridge

Lowena Hull, 18 from Rowlands Castle, is off to Cambridge University

Lowena Hull, 18 from Rowlands Castle, is off to Cambridge University after scooping four A*s.

She studied maths, further maths, physics and chemistry and will now go on to read physical natural sciences.

She hopes to secure a career in science, technology and engineering.

She said: 'I'm pretty thrilled about the results and it means I'm able to go to my first-choice university.'

On this year's calculated grade system, she added: 'I know myself best of all and I know going into exams I would have done all the work I needed to do to get the grades I'm happy with.

'It was scary this year saying I have no influence over this - but I'm delighted.'

St Vincent College had 97% pass rate

The Gosport college has announced its Level 3 results - with a 97% pass rate. 

There was also 38% high grades. 

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