Wait is over for hundreds of A-level students

Friday 19th August 2022 6:00 am
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Ballakermeen High School A Level Results. Breeshey Farren & Eden McCubbin. Photo by Callum Staley (CJS Photography)

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Around 600 students picked up their A-level and BTEC results yesterday.

High school sixth formers and University College Isle of Man (UCM) students across the island had their anxious wait for results come to an end, collecting their all important white envelopes.

This cohort of pupils are the first to sit a full set of external examinations since 2019.

Staff were on hand in schools and at UCM to help and support their students on Thursday, while offering a range of regional drop-in sessions throughout the summer holidays to help school leavers plan their next steps into education, training or employment.

The government said that early indications show that two thirds of students receiving level three qualifications plan to progress into higher education at UCM or take up a university place off island and a quarter are expected to move straight into the island’s workforce.

In previous years the government has released pass rates on results day, which we ordinarily include in our papers and iomtoday.co.im, however it has deemed this year an ‘unusual exam year’ and in order to ‘protect the wellbeing’ of the students, these statistics are not being announced.

Julie Edge MHK, Minister for Education, Sport and Culture, said: ‘The class of 2022 should be immensely proud of their resilience and their many achievements.

‘It has been a challenging time for young people who have had to overcome so much adversity and whichever path they choose I wish them every success. I would like to thank all our wonderful teachers, lecturers and support staff for their hard work.’

Ballakermeen High School director of sixth form Richard Karran said the Douglas school ‘knew they were entering choppy water but are still sailing’ after results day.

He said : ‘The nationwide picture as I think everyone knows is that the results are a little bit down.

‘They have clawed back the results to try and negate the effect of the inflation that took place over the two Covid years with the centrally determined grades, and that’s led to quite a significant decline in the A* to A bracket and a decline in the A to B bracket.

‘Obviously therefore there has to be a bulge in another area, so the bulge is taking place in the C grade area but what we’re seeing is quite a large proportion of students underachieving by one grade.

‘You can look at the clawing back of grades in different ways, you could say that it is unfair on this particular year group, which I think is a fair statement to make, especially considering what they’ve had to put up with for the last two or three years which isn’t necessarily their fault but at the same time I do see the logic in trying to pull it back, because the inflation was ridiculous and the results that came out over the past two years were absolutely crazy.

‘It has had a knock-on effect and we now have possibly the largest number of students in clearing that we’ve had in my time certainly.’