Triple Locked Out-by Emily Thomson.

On Thursday students across the borough received their A_Level results after facing months of being at home and ending their schooling career under very unusual times with the outbreak of a pandemic.

The triple lock system that was introduced by the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson meant that students had to chose to either accept their calculated grade, appeal to receive a valid mock result or sit their exams in autumn.

Labour activist Emily Thompson received her A-Level results on Thursday and today writes in the Havering Daily:

Williamson’s fatally floored ‘ triple lock’ system sees thousands of students locked out of apprenticeships, universities and jobs.

A level results day, a day that should bear the fruits of seven years of education for school leavers has seen students receive grades lower than their teachers believed they are capable of with nearly 40% of teacher grades being lowered. Like many I received results on Thursday however without sitting any exams my results and hopes of getting into university were placed in the hands of the government’s fatally floored algorithm. 

Despite teachers working tirelessly to award students with accurate and realistic centre assessed grades the chaotic system implemented by the government has seen almost 40% of these grades downgraded  by OFQUAL with 3% being downgraded by two or more grades, although 3% doesn’t sound like a huge number this is more than 24,000 results being lowered by 2 or more grades. Many students also saw the grades awarded by the broken algorithm being lower than their mock results. As students we are always told not to leave work till the night before a piece of advice the Secretary of State for Education would have greatly benefited from. The ‘triple lock’ which Mr Williamson wrongly believed would protect student’s grades has caused chaos with no appeals process being ready for students receiving results and many left not knowing if they will be given a place at their choice of university if their appeal is successful. Furthermore, those who choose to resit may have to wait another year before being able to start their university courses. 

However, the misery and disappointment of a lowering in the centre assessed grades was not universal with students from disadvantaged areas being the hardest hit. While some state schools saw student’s grades plummet the classist algorithm saw private schools increasing their top grades as independent schools saw 49% of the grades awarded to their students being at an A* or A grade more than double that of state schools. 

The class of 2020 have had a unique results day experience with many like me receiving their results online however, for many their academic achievements were not recognised simply because of the school they attended. As the Conservative mantra of one rule for us and one for everyone else branches out from the Cummings scandal and into education, it’s clear that the fatally floored system has left thousands of students without the results they deserve. 

Having a detrimental and life long impact on the prospects of many, the government has forced a new triple lock on those from the most deprived areas as students are locked out of apprenticeships, university and jobs the government has failed a whole generation of young lives. The government need to follow in the path of Scotland and award students the grades they awarded by their centre relying on the opinions of the professionals instead of a computer and the highly inconsistent mocks.

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