Students to be 'staggered' when collecting exam results from schools

The pick-up of exam results from schools across the Black Country and Staffordshire will be staggered due to Covid-19.

Students will stagger their arrivals for their A-level and GCSE results
Students will stagger their arrivals for their A-level and GCSE results

Schools have been told it is up to them to decide how to run GCSE and A-Level results day, with most opting for students to come in and collect their results. But many will introduce timings to ensure there is no crowding of students.

A-level results will be announced on Tuesday with GCSE results on Thursday. In both cases, results have come from teacher assessment after exams were scrapped.

The majority of schools in the region are bringing back in-person results day after many emailed them out last year.

Students will be expected to come down and pick up their envelope at Kingsmead School in Hednesford, Leasowes High School in Halesowen, and Beacon Hill Academy in Sedgley among others across the region.

Headteacher Sukhjot Dhami, from Beacon Hill Academy in Sedgley, said: “Results day will be staggered during the course of the morning and students will come in their groups – they will come and collect their results in the way they normally would, in their envelope, and their careers advisors will be there. And some students might want to speak to the exams officer about appeals because it’s a new system in place this year.”

Student grades will take into account a combination of mock exams, coursework and essays following the government decision earlier this year. Exam boards have provided teachers with optional assessment questions for students to answer to help schools decide which grades to award.

Students can return to college to pick up their A-level results this week

No algorithm has been used to calculate the results, as it was last year, following the chaos in last August when some pupils were downgraded, which prompted backlash against Education Secretary and South Staffordshire MP Gavin Williamson. Meanwhile, Clearing will be remain almost the same as it was last year. University of Wolverhampton is among those with staff on hand to take calls.

Rebecca Hollington, Director of UK Recruitment and Partnerships at the university, said: “In terms of our Clearing, we’re delivering it fairly similarly to last year where we had some staff on campus, on phone lines taking calls from students, and some people working from home – still taking calls from home.

“This year we’ve got some on-site events – which we deliver during normal Clearing – because we know a number of applicants might not have been to the university. They were all virtual last year and it was very challenging to deliver those activities and some students struggled to get a feel for the campus.

“We’ve got a number of those events for results week but students need to book the events ahead [due to the numbers being staggered amid Covid-19]. Our first open day is on Saturday, August 14, which was virtual last year. We’re still observing some of the Covid procedures – such as the wearing of masks – and we’re trying to limit how manyh people are in the corridors and rooms too.

“So we will have on-campus events, but not to the pre-Covid levels for Clearing. And with Clearing, I think it’s the unknown [which makes it tough to plan] because there’s areas which can give us challenges, but our focus is always on the student.

“Last year we had some challenges – around the results – but we tried to make sure students were supported as much as possible. From a team perspective, it’s quite traditional for it to be fast-paced and every year you never get the same Clearing.

The moment of truth is not far away for thousands of students

"It's my 12th Clearing – I was always in charge of delivering it – and things go wrong and we learn from those. There's a real sense of a team within the university because everyone from facilities, IT – everyone right up to the vice-chancellor – is involved. It's the one time where our focus is purely on getting students over that finish line and help them to start in September – and it's a really nice feeling when you're doing that."

Ms Hollington said the university, aside from taking calls, will have their live chat in operation and will be helping students through their social media channels as well.

Meanwhile education chiefs have wished young people collecting their GCSE, A-Level and other results this week the very best of luck after a year impacted by Covid-19.

Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre, Wolverhampton Council's cabinet member for education and skills said: "I'd like to wish everyone collecting their GCSE, A-level and other results next week the very best of luck.

"I hope they achieve the outcomes they were hoping for and are looking forward to the next stage of their learning journey, whether that is going on to college or university, or entering the world of work and training.

"We've seen really positive results at both GCSE and A-level in Wolverhampton over the last decade or so, and we’re hoping for another good set of outcomes this year which will reflect the hard work of students and their teachers.

"It goes without saying that this year has been another incredibly difficult one for pupils and teachers because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and it's a real credit to everyone involved in our city's education system that schools and colleges have been able to provide a full year of learning, both in person and remotely, for our city's young people.

"If you haven't quite decided what to do next, don't panic – there are plenty of doors open to you, and plenty of support out there to help you make the right choice including from your school, sixth form or college, Connexions Wolverhampton or Wolves Workbox at www.wolvesworkbox.com."

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