Some homeschooled students have been left with no A level grades - here’s what happened

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It seems the A level results fiasco is far from over, as one group of students is still battling with the fallout from a tumultuous week in education news.

The Government's U-turn on the controversial exam algorithm saw thousands of students have their A level grades increased.

But home schooled and private students may miss out on hard fought for university placements, after being left with no grades. Here’s what happened.

What's happened?

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson's reversal allowed grades to be awarded to students based on teachers' assessments rather than a controversial algorithm devised by exam regulator, Ofqual.

Those centre assessment grades (CAGs) were welcomed by most students. However, many home schooled or private students have no CAGs, as their exam centres do not have enough evidence of their academic level.

Students who have been resitting exams in 2020 have also complained that they have been awarded the same grades at last year

The error is thought to affect around 20,000 private and home schooled students across A level, AS level and GCSE assessments.

What does it mean?

Nineteen year old Priya Juttla was due to retake two A levels this year, but when she received her grades (her UCAS predictions were for As), she found they were the same as she was given last year.

Juttla told the Press Association, “The situation is quite unjust. We worked this hard for a year, why should we not get the same benefits?”

She spent the year working independently to achieve the A grades she needed in maths and biology, in order to study biochemistry at Imperial or King’s College, and spending around £1,000 on tutors and exam fees.

“It’s so exhausting. I’ve really pushed through and I was really determined to make sure I could get in this year and fulfil my offers at university," Juttla added.

“Private candidates have just been left in the dark the whole time. Everyone else has had a U-turn but for us it doesn’t relieve anything.”

What can private and home schooled students do?

Ofqual say students without grades should take more exams in the autumn series.

A spokesperson said the exam board confirmed "earlier this summer" that private and home educated students would only receive a result where the head of centre where they were due to be examined was confident they had seen sufficient evidence of the student’s achievements.

“We also worked with exam boards to create alternative options for private candidates whose original centre may have decided a centre assessment grade could not be submitted, subsequently allowing candidates to consider transferring from one centre to another," Ofqual added.

“For private candidates where this was not possible, they will be able to take an exam in the autumn series.”

What's happening with A level results?

Earlier this week it was announced that A level grades will now be based on teachers' assessments rather than exam regulator Ofqual's controversial algorithm. Gavin Williamson apologised for the distress caused by the handling of the process, which followed the cancellation of exams due to coronavirus.

Students who were awarded a higher grade by the moderation process will be allowed to keep it, but for many pupils, their teachers' predictions could see their grades increased.

Mr Williamson said, "This has been an extraordinarily difficult year for young people who were unable to take their exams.

"We now believe it is better to offer young people and parents certainty by moving to teacher assessed grades for both A and AS level and GCSE results."

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said, "The Government has had months to sort out exams and has now been forced into a screeching U-turn after days of confusion.

"This is a victory for the thousands of young people who have powerfully made their voices heard this past week."