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A-levels 2020: Wait nearly over for Suffolk students

Thousands of students across Suffolk will be waiting to learn their fate this morning as this year's A-level results are released.

The publication of the grades is usually the day when teenagers find out if they have done enough to head off to university or down their chosen career path.

But, with fierce controversy about how the exams have been handled this year, today may well not prove to be the end of the story for many.

Thousands of Suffolk students are expecting their A-level results today
Thousands of Suffolk students are expecting their A-level results today

The traditional exams were scrapped by the government in the spring, as part of the widespread shutdown of public life triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead, ministers said grades would be determined from a range of evidence sources, including performance in mock exams and non-exam assessments.

But, earlier this week, the Department for Education announced schools could appeal to have students' results upgraded to the higher grade from either a predicted grade, mock exams or an exam to be sat in the autumn.

Officials claim that is meant to make the system fairer, though the move has been widely condemned by opposition parties, students' groups and teaching unions.

That followed an apology from the Scottish government, which had faced heavy criticism over claims some students had been unfairly penalised because they attended schools which had performed poorly in previous years.

But, despite the political rows, education chiefs in Suffolk have urged youngsters not to panic if they miss out on the grades they need.

Adrian Orr, assistant director for education and learning at Suffolk County Council said: “The first thing to do is to not panic.

“The second is to have a conversation with your school or provider, but most importantly it is to have a conversation with the institution you are hoping to go on to, whether that is a sixth form, university or FE college, and I think this year those admission arrangements will be slightly different.

“Don’t panic and not ring, but actually make contact with the college of university. The worst thing you can do is panic and not do anything.”

And, in this unique year of exam results, we want to hear from you. Are you a student who is looking forward to university with the grades you hoped for? Or do you feel you've been let down by an unfair grading system?

You can get in touch by emailing suffolk@iliffepublishing.co.uk or sending a message to our Suffolk News Facebook page.

News from our universities, local primary and secondary schools including Ofsted inspections and league tables can be found here.