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Monday, August 17, 2020

Isherwood calls for urgent action on A Level 'fiasco'

North Wales Member of the Welsh Parliament  Mark Isherwood is calling on the Education Minister to urgently address the A level downgrading fiasco which has resulted in hundreds of students missing out on University Places.

Students across Wales have accused the Welsh Government of "abandoning them" after 42% of grades were lowered by the exams watchdog.

Since the results came out on Thursday morning, Mr Isherwood has received  numerous emails from affected students, parents, Head teachers and Teachers in North Wales expressing upset and concern about the downgraded ‘A’ and ‘AS’ Level results.

He wrote to the Education Minister, Kirsty Williams MS, the next day (Friday), calling on her to give the matter her urgent attention and to put students out of their misery by confirming her intended course of action.

Mr Isherwood said: “The whole situation is absolutely appalling and demands urgent attention.

The Senedd’s Children, Young People and Education Committee has been recalled and will now meet tomorrow (Tuesday), but every day of waiting is a day of torture for the affected students who desperately need answers now.

“I have received emails from students who have missed out on places to some of the UK’s top universities, including Oxford and Durham, because of this fiasco. Their future plans have been completely turned upside down by this fiasco.

“The process used to determine final grades is clearly flawed and it appears that it is students from disadvantaged schools who have been affected the most.  

“One student who contacted me attended a Wrexham sixth form that does not have a high A/A* record when looking at historical data, however they were given Centre Assessment Grades of A*A*A*AA and held an offer for the University of Oxford,  yet the standardisation process awarded them ABBBB. As the student stated “How can they justify downgrading me from A* to B?”

“This student is not alone, I have received many emails of similar cases, and the fear is we will see more cases of downgrading when the GCSE results are published this Thursday.

“This is not a matter that can wait, the well-being and the future success of our young people is at stake and the Education Minister must take action now to ensure that every student in Wales is treated fairly.”

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