A Level Results Day 2020

Posted on: 13 Aug 2020

First and foremost, results days are about our students and their achievements. Days like today offer an opportunity for celebration, a moment for reflection and then - excitingly - the start of a brand new phase of life. 

There are a great many reasons why this day will feel different to those we’ve had before but we want to say a proper ‘well done’ to all of our students who have received their results today. They are a real achievement for the students and mark the culmination of their A Level studies and the years at school which led up to them. We are delighted that the overwhelming majority of students will be going to their first choice universities and courses. Therefore it is important that there are appropriate (socially distanced) celebrations. 

In any other year, this would mark a real achievement for the school’s ‘headlines’ as well. I would be writing to you about improvements made and percentages of grades achieved. I would also be writing about those individuals with the particularly impressive results they worked so hard to attain. Their destinations range from Oxford and Cambridge to apprenticeships in the film industry. I know you’ll appreciate that given the circumstances around the grades this year nationally it doesn’t quite feel correct to do so at this point. There will be a moment for that later on.

Alongside the success, there is now an important job to do in support of those students who have been disappointed. Disappointed as a consequence of the events outside of their control. We, in common with a great many other schools, have significant concerns about how grades have been determined. This has been exacerbated by the last minute announcements over appeals which have brought anxiety on what should be a celebratory day. 

We understand that the circumstances this year presented the exam regulators with an unparalleled challenge. However, it is clear that they did not listen to what schools were saying about finalising results. We are particularly concerned at reports that this process has disproportionately affected disadvantaged students nationally and hope that it does not transpire that other inequalities have been reinforced. We are unconvinced at present by the so-called ‘Triple Lock’ to ensure fairness which seems rushed and as risky as what has happened so far.

We have written to all students already to explain the appeal process should they wish the school to raise concerns on their behalf. We are here for all our students who need support to get them to the grades for which they have worked. More detail about the appeals process will follow next week. 

Let’s finish where we started: a round of applause for Year 13, who have so much to be proud of and who have impressed as much with their commitment to culture, performance, politics and social action as with their serious academic achievement. We are going to miss them dreadfully. In every sense, they are Dunraven. We wish them the very best for the bright futures that lie ahead. 

Guy Maidment
Thursday 13 August 2020