Message to our Year 13 students

To all our Year 13 students from Rebecca Boomer-Clark, Director of Secondary Education, Ark Schools

First off, you should know you have done something amazing, something no other young person has ever been asked to do: to complete their schooling in the face of a global pandemic. This has been an incredibly demanding year and we are immensely proud of you all.

We know that the news reports over the past weeks about how your grades will be calculated this year have created confusion and uncertainty. We want you to know that we are here to support you, and we will do everything we can to help you go on to the university course, apprenticeship or other destination you aspire to.

Ofqual, the examination regulator, calculated the grades you will receive. Those grades are based on different pieces of information, including how young people in your school have done in their exams in recent years, as well as how your teachers believed you would do in the final exams, had you sat them. That prediction given by your teachers is called the Centre Assessed Grade (CAG). On Tuesday, Ofqual said that students who wish to appeal their Ofqual Calculated Grade, could use their mock examination result as evidence.

To help support you and ensure you have all the information available, as well as your Ofqual Calculated Grades, you will be able to access your CAGs and mock examination results at school. Your head of sixth form and other teachers will be on hand to discuss those grades with you and explain what they mean.

If your Ofqual Calculated Grades are not the ones you were hoping for, please do not worry – we will be there to provide you with support. Universities and other higher and further education providers know that this year has been a difficult one, many will be flexible about their entry requirements and you may still get on the course of your choice.

We are very experienced at supporting young people through the Clearing process, to help find a course which is right for you. Again, many universities will be flexible about their requirements, so even if your results are not the ones you wanted, we will help you find a course which meets your aspirations.

If for whatever reason, you feel you need to appeal your results, we can help with that too. Ark has robust systems for monitoring your progress through school and we are very confident in the quality of the assessment data we hold for you and your fellow students. Where applicable, that data can be used to support any relevant appeals. Again, please discuss with your school.

This has been a tough year, for you, for your teachers, for all of us living in a time of such challenge. We want you to know that the whole of Ark and your school is doing everything we can to make sure you get the outcomes you deserve so you can move on to the destinations you want.

Well done for all your hard work to get to this point – and best of luck!