Govt should encourage universities to “exercise leniency” for 2020 admissions

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The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to issue guidance encouraging universities to “exercise leniency” in admitting students with lower-than-predicted grades, in the wake of concerns about how grades will be awarded this year. 

Describing plans to prevent students appealing their grades as “completely unacceptable”, Layla Moran, the party’s Education spokesperson, has written to the Education Secretary calling for him to ensure:

  1. Students will have the chance to appeal their grades for free, as well as providing free advice on the appeals process;
  2. Guidance is issued about how students can safely re-take assessments in the Autumn;
  3. Guidance is issued to universities encouraging them to exercise leniency when it comes to admitting students who are awarded lower grades than predicted, especially if they come from a disadvantaged background.

Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Layla Moran said: 

“A young person’s GCSE and A-level grades will impact their education and job opportunities for years to come. It is disgraceful for any young person to have their grades lowered unfairly.

“Guidance published today which suggests individual students won’t be able to appeal their grades directly with Ofqual is a travesty. Government must step in immediately and confirm that pupils will be able to appeal their grades free of charge.

“The Government should also give clear guidance to universities, encouraging them to exercise leniency when it comes to entry requirements, given the chaos cuased by COVID-19. Without this, I am really worried that that inequality in access to higher education will become even more stark as a result of this crisis”

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