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Shropshire's class of 2020 hailed for resilience on historic results day

By Rob Smith | Telford | News | Published:

Shropshire's A-Level class of 2020 has been hailed for its resilience and achievement in an unprecedented year of disrupted education.

Pupils are receiving results today but many of them have been told to keep away from their schools in the interest of social distancing. It follows a year in which their classes have been stopped and their exams cancelled due to coronavirus.

Telford College is celebrating another good set of A-Level results, with an increase in both pass rates and high grades.

The college’s 'seventh form' has seen an overall 5 per cent rise in pass rates this year, with 100 per cent successes in several curriculum areas, including further maths, economics, sociology, media studies, film studies, and English literature.

Graham Guest, principal and chief executive, said: “These results are a reflection of two years of really hard work and dedication by our students.

“They are also testament to the high quality of teaching here at the college, and the way both tutors and students have adapted brilliantly to the different ways of learning over the past few months, since the Covid-19 lockdown.

The results are the first for students who have completed a full two-year study programme at Telford College’s new seventh form, which blends traditional sixth form activities with direct links to universities and partnerships with business mentors.

Shropshire Council congratulated A-Level students across the county for coping with "unprecedented" circumstances.

Since the announcement that exams would not be sat, Shropshire’s schools and colleges have been asked to provide assessment grades for their students for this summer’s awards.

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Shrewsbury Colleges Group students celebrating. From left are Ben Baker, Nilavan Thipaharan, Lauren Ainscough, Ryan Meddins, Heidi Clark, Olivia Swift and Neve Jones, all from Shrewsbury

Karen Bradshaw, the county council’s executive director of children’s services and acting interim chief executive, said: “We would like to congratulate all the students for their great effort and determination in such difficult circumstances, having been unable to sit their exams this year. We hope they have achieved results which will give them every success in the future, including those taking up a university place or those moving into the world of work.

“We would also like to thank everyone involved in Shropshire’s school and college communities. This includes our skilled and dedicated teachers, headteachers and college principals, governors, support staff, people who contribute voluntarily and, of course, parents and carers who play such an important supportive role.

"We must recognise how our school and college staff have worked so tirelessly throughout the year including the crucial period when they had to carefully consider and then provide the centre assessment grades for their students in this most unprecedented of years.”

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For those going to university, applicants can log into the UCAS Track service to check the status of their application. If students have not been accepted by the university of their choice there are still many places available through the clearing process. For those students whose results are different to what they expected, schools and colleges can provide further advice and guidance.

The council has also arranged a virtual drop-in session to provide any advice related to well-being and anxiety this Saturday, August 15, from 1 to 2pm via Zoom.

Visit shropshire.gov.uk/virtual-drop-in/, then use meeting number 852 8195 7344 and password 726382.

Shrewsbury Colleges Group principal, James Staniforth, spoke of his pride.

Speaking as the results were revealed to the students, Mr Staniforth said: "2020 will live long in everyone’s memory, and it has been an extraordinary year and one unlike any other in my experience of working in education. We’ve seen all our students and teachers make considerable adjustments to the way that they’ve worked, in a very short period of time.

"We are genuinely proud of the efforts that everyone associated with Shrewsbury Colleges Group have made in recent months, and especially those students who have completed their courses this summer.

"We’ve seen notable results from this year’s A-Level grades. Across the full year, we have seen more A*’s and A’s achieved compared to last year even though this year is a slightly smaller year group. We’re delighted that four of our students got 4 A*’s at A-Levels with 12 students getting at least three A*’s. We’re also thrilled that 50 of our students got three As or better.

"The lack of exams does not diminish the efforts that our students have made over the last two years, and our students should feel proud of the results that they are receiving today. Our students have shown great resolve and resilience during this difficult time, and they have continued with their education online throughout lockdown with many of our students also making a significant contribution to helping their local communities.

"We are genuinely sorry that we haven’t been able to celebrate the end of their second year at college with our students and we wish them all the best fortune for the future and will continue to be here for them."

Rob Smith

By Rob Smith
Reporter

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based at Ketley in Telford.

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