Last ditch A-level appeal

ANGRY students at Orwell High School are to launch an appeal in a last-ditch attempt to boost their A-level grades.David Forrest, headmaster of the Felixstowe school, confirmed five students are to appeal after an inquiry into marking left their grades unchanged.

ANGRY students at Orwell High School are to launch an appeal in a last-ditch attempt to boost their A-level grades.

David Forrest, headmaster of the Felixstowe school, confirmed five students are to appeal after an inquiry into marking left their grades unchanged.

One of the five concerned has a university place hanging in the balance.

Mr Forrest said: "Four of students had their grades improved and several students had marks improved, but not enough to raise their grades.

"We remain very concerned about the marks of several students. It's a big issue for each individual student affected."

The mammoth grades inquiry was launched after concerns some students had deliberately marked down when A-level results were released in the summer.

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But after 300,000 entries submitted by more than 90,000 students were assessed, only 1,089 received the good news they were hoping for.

Although Mr Forrest welcomed the admission that things had gone wrong with the introduction of the new two-tier exam, he was scathing in his criticism for those responsible.

He said: "The message I would have liked to hear coming from this inquiry is that they are ashamed.

"I think it's appalling that it should have ever happened in the first place.

"I would like to see exam boards recognising their own incompetence and doing something about it without having someone point it out first.

"There's a lot to be done."

But despite his anger at the treatment of his students, Mr Forrest added his voice to that of Ipswich headteachers who backed the beleaguered A-level.

And he supported the new two-year examination process where students sit AS levels in the first year and A2 the year after.

He said: "I think the AS - A2 system is an improvement. It gives students greater flexibility and more ability to plan their futures in work or higher education.

"It remains a good system – we're talking about administrative issues about the awarding of grades rather than the exam itself."

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