Uk News Students urged to come up with 'Plan B' ahead of expected drop in A Level grades this week United Kingdom news
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Ucas has urged pupils to drum up a “Plan B” ahead of A-level results day this week, amid warnings that a “perfect storm” of grade deflation and pressures from the cost of living crisis will see a surge in students missing out on university. Clare Marchant, chief executive of Ucas, told i that students should “think about their Plan B before Thursday rather than on Thursday”, as 18-year-olds prepare to open envelopes revealing their marks later this week. “You’ve still got an air gap between now and results day to start thinking about that Plan B,” she said. “Even if [you] wake up disappointed on Thursday… then there are lots of choices.”It comes after the university admissions service made the unprecedented move of issuing a letter to students over the weekend urging them not to worry “if you don’t get your predicted grades”, following speculation that this year’s admissions process will prove the most competitive in history. In an open letter to 18-year-olds across the country, Ucas and exams regulator Ofqual told pupils that it was not “meaningful to compare this year’s results to 2021”. More from EducationAfter lower A-level results warnings, students and parents scramble to make alternative plans15 August, 2022How Ucas Clearing works and how to apply on A-level results day15 August, 2022When A-level results day 2022 is and what time grades are released15 August, 2022Exam boards have been ordered to crack down on grade inflation brought about during the pandemic by ensuring the number of top grades is halfway between 2021 and 2019.It means tens of thousands of students are expected to miss their grade predictions for this year’s A-levels, which the Office for Students said will likely spark a surge in university rejections. Ucas has suggested the grade crackdown will mean as many as 40 per cent of students will have to go through the Clearing process to secure a university place, and that spots at top institutions will run out quickly. Ms Marchant told i: “I think there’s a couple of different cohorts and one of those will be where students perhaps miss just one grade or two grades.”She said Ucas “really strongly encourages” those students to either pick up the phone to their first-choice universities or try and get a spot at one of 30,000 courses available through Clearing.“But the point I’ve been making is that some of those highly selective courses and highly selective institutions will go reasonably quickly. So start thinking about your Plan B now,” she said.“Absolutely research over the next couple of days, and be prepared to act swiftly if there’s something you see and like come Thursday afternoon.”However, senior education figures have warned that the emphasis on Clearing this year will disproportionately benefit more privileged students, to the detriment of disadvantaged pupils. Lee Elliot Major, professor of social mobility at Exeter University, said there was a real “worry that disadvantaged people might be elbowed out of this competitive race”.“There’s a number of factors that have come together that have made this the most competitive admissions round in living memory,” he told i.
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. There have been unprecedented learning losses that have disproportionately hit disadvantaged pupils. At the same time, we have the cost of living crisis which is really hitting young people.”“My view is that we have to make absolutely clear what the situation is, and I think it’s often the most disadvantaged people who are not aware of these broader dynamics. We should be upfront about what the prospects are.”Students receiving their A-level results on Thursday have never sat public exams before, with their GCSEs cancelled in 2020 during the pandemic. It has made grade predictions harder for teachers, meaning this year’s A Level results may differ wildly from students’ expectations. According to one analysis, around 40,000 young people could miss out on their preferred university places because of lower-than-expected grades.Many have warned that the perfect storm of grade deflation this year, fewer university places, and financial pressures during the cost of living crisis could deter students who miss their predictions from going to university. “I think there’s going to be a lot of pressure, and I think that they will have lower grades just because of how hard they’ve had it over the past couple of years,” said Professor Major. “And it’s certainly a worry that people might be put off going into higher education just because of the costs concerned. We’re yet to see the full manifestation of the cost of living crisis on pupils, and I think the worry is that we will see stark regional inequalities in A Level grades.”Ucas has predicted that more than two-thirds of prospective university students are already considering part-time work because of economic pressures, while others will be more likely to look for universities closer to home to save money. Professor Alan Smithers, director of the Centre for Education and Employment Research at the University of Buckingham, suggested that an expected surge in university rejections will force some teenagers to make tough decisions on Thursday. “The Government has made a necessary correction to the number of top grades, which may have an effect on you, and that isn’t really good news,” he told i.“But we’ve got to the point now where there’s almost a conveyor belt of pupils going straight from school to university, and there is the other opportunity to think about your life.“If you understand that it’s not a failing on your part – that your education has been disrupted, that there have been changes to the system – then it might be a good thing for young people to think: ‘What am I going to do with my life?’ There are other opportunities.”
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