Students celebrate success despite Covid-19 disruption

DESPITE an unprecedented year of disruption, students across Tameside have earned academic success to progress on their chosen career path.

The coronavirus pandemic meant no national exams this year, which students had been working towards throughout secondary school. Instead students have received nationally standardised grades awarded by exam boards. These will be recognised by colleges and higher education institutions and employers in the future.

Mossley Hollins High School

While they have missed out on traditional GCSE celebrations, many students have earned remarkable successes to achieve their goals and progress onto sixth form, college, apprenticeships, training or work.

To ascertain the grades, schools provided evidence on what students were likely to receive if each exam had happened as planned and on their previous performance. Classwork, homework, results in assignments, mock exams, non-exam assessments or coursework and a student’s general progress were all taken into account.

An exam board standardisation model then drew on a range of evidence, including historical outcomes for each school and the prior attainment of students, to calculate the final grades.

With no exams taking place this year, pupils’ GCSE outcomes are not being published nationally so the context of grades received can’t be ascertained or compared with last year’s results. Schools will also not be judged on these outcomes by Ofsted or the Government.

Tameside Council, schools, colleges, providers and teaching unions have come together to ensure that support is in place to help students get on the right post-16 pathways, including the right college course or training option. It is anticipated that for the vast majority of students the process will be straightforward.

Cllr Leanne Feeley, Tameside Council executive member for lifelong learning, said: “With exams cancelled because of Covid-19 and many children having to study at home, as well as the stress and uncertainty caused by the pandemic and lockdown, it’s been one of the most challenging academic years any cohort of students has ever experienced.

“So, I’m delighted that so many of our students have achieved places on the courses that are right for them, based on the hard work they’ve put in over the academic years, to progress on their career paths.

“While they’ve been denied the opportunity to celebrate their GCSEs on a traditional results day, I hope they’re proud of, and take time to recognise, their accomplishments in such difficult circumstances and I wish them well in achieving their goals.”

Students unhappy with their grades will have the opportunity to choose their mock exam results or take their exams in the autumn or in summer 2021, using the highest grades for future progression.
Positive Steps Careers Service are available to provide independent career advice by calling 0800 484 0407 or 0161 621 9292 or emailing tamesidecareers@positive-steps.org.uk

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