MORE than 50 students at a Basingstoke college are looking to appeal their A level results, after around 40 per cent of pupils were given lower grades than their teachers’ predictions.

Queen Mary’s College in Basingstoke has reflected the national picture for its A Level results this year, with nearly 40 per cent of students receiving lower grades than their teachers’ predictions.

Nationally, there has been anger among schools, colleges and students who have labelled the result ‘unfair’, having been moderated by an algorithm after exams were cancelled because of the pandemic.

The system considered pupils’ previous grades, teachers’ predicted grades and the historic exam performance of institutions.

The results also showed record highs for A* and A grades, but there was criticism that private schools in England saw the greatest improvement on these from last year – up 4.7 per cent, compared with 1.7, 2 and 0.3 per cent improvement for academies, comprehensives and colleges respectively.

Ali Foss, principal at QMC, said the top grades at the Cliddesden Road college had increased to 50 per cent, although she did not say how much this had gone up from 2019. At Lord Wandsworth College, an independent college in Hook, there was a huge 12 per cent increase in A* and A grades from 2019, with ‘record-breaking’ results overall.

This meant 42 per cent of pupils achieved these top grades, with a 99 per cent pass rate overall.

Charities and unions have reacted with fury to the results nationally, claiming they highlight disparities in the education system.

Sarah Atkinson, CEO of The Social Mobility Foundation, a charity which coaches thousands of high attaining young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, said the results “shine a light on the inequality that lies at the heart of our education system”.

QMC principal Ms Foss said she expects many grades will go up as pupils appeal using their mock results, adding: “In line with all colleges nationally we have some students that have received grades that do not reflect their abilities, and we are working with them to get them into their university of choice/consider appeals etc. To date we have dealt with 55 requests for help with this, and we have a team who are contacting them and providing support.”

Following the backlash after results day on Thursday, the government has since announced it will cover the cost of appeals against exam grades.