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STEPS TO HELP STUDENTS & RESTORE A-LEVEL CONFIDENCE DETAILED

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Education and skills secretary Estelle Morris has welcomed the...
Education and skills secretary Estelle Morris has welcomed the

publication of Mike Tomlinson's reportinto the regrading of

A-levels. She also outlined the steps taken by the government to help

those students affected and to restore confidence in the A-level

exam.

Ms Morris assured students currently sitting AS and A-levels that

they can be confident that the examination system will match their

performance with the correct grades.

The report makes the position on A-level grades clear to the 250,000

students who sat the exam this summer (2002):

- The grades of 1,953 A and AS-level entries have been revised -

affecting 733 entries for AS-levels and 1,220 entries for A-levels.

- 1,945 individual students from 839 centres have received at least

one revised A or AS- level grade. Eight students have had two

A-levels regraded. UCAS has confirmed the implications for university

admissions, as follows:

- Of those students with amended grades, 1,089 matched UCAS

applicant records.

- Of these, 689 had already been accepted by their first choice

institution. 73 of these students were accepted on to a course for

which they did not originally apply.

- Of the 400 students who were not accepted by their first choice

institution, 232 had not received any offers from the institutions to

which they had applied. This means that they did not have any offers

for which they had to meet conditions.

- This leaves a maximum of 168 students who may be eligible to

transfer to new institutions. No university or college will receive

or lose more than 8 students.

The process for notifying those students whose overall grade has

changed - and those students whose units were regraded but whose

overall grade did not change - has already begun.

Students should first check with their first choice university or

college whether they have now achieved the grades set out in their

original offer. Students who are eligible to transfer to new

institutions have until 25 October to contact the admissions office

in the new institution and, if they are already at university or

college, their current institution. Contact details are available via

the UCAS website (www.ucas.com) and the UCAS helpline (01242 227 788)

is open to assist students.

Estelle Morris announced a new A-level Claims Fund to make sure

that no regraded student is worse off financially through a

university or college transfer. Students who transfer as a result of

regrading will be able to apply to their university or college with

evidence of legitimate accommodation, travel and course costs

incurred in transferring, and they will be reimbursed. No university

or college will be out of pocket from this fund as it will be fully

funded by the Department for Education and Skills.

Estelle Morris said:

'Mike Tomlinson's report brings welcome clarity for thousands of

students, who can now have confidence in the process for revising

A-level and AS-level grades. For nearly 2,000 students this now means

a higher grade for either their A or AS-level - and it means

important decisions for those 168 students who may be eligible to

transfer to a new university or Higher Education institution.

'But it goes much further than that. This restores pride and

confidence in the A-level system as a whole. All students - whether

they've received regrades or not - can be confident that the

regrading process has been independent and fair.

'It is important to me that no student should be worse off

financially through a university or college transfer arising from any

regrade. That is why today I am announcing an A-level Claims Fund so

that students who are eligible to move university or college and

decide to do so can apply to their institution with evidence of

legitimate accommodation, travel and course costs incurred in

transferring, and they will be reimbursed.

'I recognise that this period of uncertainty has been distressing for

many students, parents and teachers, and on behalf of the education

system I can only apologise for the disruption suffered. It has been

my job to make sure that concerns were fully investigated, and it is

now my job to make sure that the lessons are learned. Ken Boston,

Chief Executive of the QCA, will oversee the implementation of

Tomlinson's recommendations. He has also set up a task force to

oversee the effective delivery of the AS and A2 exams in January and

July 2003. Additional guidance on AS and A2 standards will be ready

by the end of October and a revised code of practice will be in place

by mid November.

'All those students on AS and A2 courses now can be reassured that

the action being taken will make sure that marking and grading

standards this year will be robust and reliable. There is massive

support for the principles of the Curriculum 2000 system - from

schools, teachers, parents and pupils - and we must ensure that next

summer's results can be looked on as a source of pride in the

examinations system.'

NOTES

This Press Notice applies to England.

The Tomlinson report, Q&A advice for students and links to the

exams boards can all be found here.

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