Ashfield council leader calls for university guarantee for students

The leader of Ashfield District Council has written to the secretary of state for education to call for a guarantee that children will receive their university places after the pandemic ‘played havoc’ with their education.

Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 4:52 pm

Sixth formers across Mansfield and Ashfield have received their A-level results after an extraordinary year when the COVID pandemic has played havoc with their education.

Universities and UCAS have already received students’ grades, with some institutions planning to keep spaces on hold for students who wish to appeal against their A-level results before the September 7 deadline.

Councillor Jason Zadrozny, Leader of Ashfield District Council has written to the Rt. Hon. Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education, and Universities’ Minister Michelle Donelan MP, praising teachers across Ashfield for their handling of the unprecedented situation and calling for a guarantee that students will receive their university offers if they received their expected grades.

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Cllr Zadrozny has asked for a 'transparent' appeals system

Coun Zadrozny said: “For the second year in a row, exams were cancelled due to the pandemic.

"This has put a heavy burden of responsibility on our teachers and they have coped admirably under the circumstances.

"This has significantly added to teacher’s workloads, but I have full confidence in their judgements.

"Like our students, teachers have had to adapt to the pandemic and they have done our young people proud and our schools and sixth form colleges have continued to provide a high standard of education.

"I have my fingers crossed for all the students from across Hucknall, Kirkby, Selston, Sutton and Mansfield.

“If a student has kept up their end of the bargain and earned the required grades, they should be certain that there is a university place waiting for them.

"This may be more problematic due to higher than expected grades this year, but a promise is a promise.

"I have written to the education secretary asking for this guarantee, and I have also asked for assurances that any appeals system is transparent and fit for purpose.”

Simon Lebus from Ofqual - which oversees exams in England - strongly defended the system for deciding A-level and GCSE results this year.

He said teacher assessments give a ‘much more accurate reflection’ of what students can achieve.

He also said that while pupils can appeal a teacher's judgement, the bar is high.

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