Last Thursday (August 13), Phoebe Jeffrey, 18, saw her life ‘turned upside down’ after grades in RE and geography moved from a B and C to a C and a D respectively.
The Oaklands Catholic School student said: ‘I was gutted when I saw my results, particularly when they give you two sheets – one with your teacher predictions and another with your actual results so you can see where it has been downgraded. It was really upsetting and I thought it had messed with my future.
‘A lot was made about those students who had been downgraded from A and A* grades but in many ways the impact was even greater on middle-range students like me.’
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Phoebe was planning on doing an additional year at sixth form to study psychology and applied science before going to Bangor University to study marine zoology the following year. It was a plan which had been thrown into disarray as Phoebe faced the prospect of falling short of her required grades and having to resit exams in the autumn.
However, after the government’s U-turn on using teacher-predicted grades, Phoebe is now ‘back on track’.
‘I was at the dentist when I got a call from my gran to tell me the news. It was absolutely brilliant and felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders,’ said Phoebe.
‘As well as giving me the grades I need for university it has made next year much more achievable as I can concentrate on my additional subjects,’ she added.
While the U-turn has allowed Phoebe to avoid the need for resits, she is concerned the decision may have come too late for some of her classmates.
Phoebe said: ‘Universities only have so many spaces and if places have already been offered to other students they can’t then take these places back and so some people may still ended up missing out on their first choice university.’
While Phoebe is pleased with the government’s change of heart she feels the situation could have been avoided if ‘teachers had been trusted in the first place’.
Phoebe added: ‘These are the people who have been with me for two years, marked every single one of my tests, seen all my pieces of work, helped me grow, worked with me, shown me things, helped me with exam techniques, past papers and so much more. If their judgements had been accepted then we could have avoided all this additional stress.’
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
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