A TEACHER who lives in Pershore says he is relieved students are now getting the grades they deserve after the government’s U-turn, but has described recent days as “chaotic”.

But a parent has said her child has still missed out on her university place.

Dr Dan Boatright, a teacher and a Pershore district councillor, says the government has been playing with people’s lives following the announcement of A Level results last week.

He was speaking after education secretary Gavin Williamson announced all A Level students in England would receive their predicted grades, despite having previously said there would be no change. The U turn came after mounting pressure after the results based on an algorithm were released, that downgraded many students' results.

The announcement means some students who were disappointed last week could still get into their first choice universities, if there still a place available.

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Dr Boatright, who teaches at Joseph Chamberlain College in Birmingham, said: “I have never experienced such chaos in teaching before.

“Working from home was always going to be a challenge and with issues such as network and IT provision, young people from poorer backgrounds were always going to be disadvantaged.

“And we worked round the clock to make sure that our students had all the help they needed, despite continued attacks about our work ethic and professionalism.

“Producing GCSE and A level results using predicted outcomes was always going to be tough during Covid and so teachers and school leaders spent months ensuring that these grades were data led and fair.

“It was rare to find a teacher trying to artificially push up grades, and even so, managers monitored this very carefully.

“But it is also important to remember that the grades received this week are not artificially inflated anyway. They are higher than usual because an algorithm could not select precisely those that would have scored lower (or higher) in an exam.

“The bigger issue has been the loss of humanity in this process. Relying solely on an algorithm at any time is just poor science, especially when Ofqual admitted that almost a quarter of the grades it predicted were wrong anyway.

“In all this there are hundred of thousands of people’s lives involved. The stress and upset this whole process has caused has been gut-wrenching. The government has completely ignored the stress they have caused and forgotten that these young people are our future.

"They will be our future doctors, nurses, engineers and teachers.

“I was so proud to see some of my own students protesting at the weekend. As much as I am relieved that they now have the grades the deserve, I fear this is just another action of this government that demonstrates they forget that they are playing with people’s lives.”

Hayley West, the mum of a student that attends Prince Henry High School, said her daughter had still lost out on her first and second choices of university.

Mrs West said: "I'm feeling very sad about her teacher predicted grades.

"Many children such as my daughter were downgraded from their predicted because they hadn't performed in their mock exams.

"She was now put in a predicament that even if the government did a U turn on results (as they announced) my daughter did not receive the grades she required."

After the U turn Nigel Huddleston, Mid Worcestershire MP, said: “Results day can be stressful in the best of times, and even more so this year of heightened uncertainty.

“My sympathies are with all the students who have had a difficult few days. There was no perfect system available this year but I know that everyone involved in making decisions from teachers making grade recommendations to government ministers and Ofqual trying to design a fair yet robust process have had good intentions and motivations.

“Many students received the results they expected and are embarking on the next chapter in their life as planned.

"But I recognise that those students who originally received different results from those expected have had to go through considerable stress and uncertainty this week and I hope that the changes announced by the government will now help clarify their plans and give them confidence that they have received fair results accurately reflecting their efforts.”

The government’s U turn to accept predicted grades will also apply to GCSEs, with those results to be announced today.