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A Level Results Day 2020

Franklin students yet again celebrate outstanding success today with an overall pass rate of over 99% and over 70 courses securing a 100% pass rate. On this, oddest of results days, we are congratulating our students on their work over the last two years, their commitment and their wider achievements.

Despite a number of nationally important issues that need to be resolved with the way the exam boards have used teachers’ submitted grades (Centre Assessed Grades), overall, well over half of all grades achieved by students were high grades (A*/A/B or equivalent), with increases seen both at A level and in the BTEC Diplomas on last year’s outstanding performance. A* grades were achieved in 18 different A level subjects, with a whopping 7 out of our 12 A level Further Maths students securing this grade. Stunning! 

The College is particularly pleased that even more Franklin students have this year secured places at Oxford University, at Medical and Veterinary Schools and at other prestigious destinations, alongside those going into Degree Apprenticeships. Franklin students will go on to change their world.   

Principal, Peter Kennedy, commented ‘the results our students have achieved are for most, just reward for their great efforts, and for some will result in a challenge to the exam boards as they are palpably unfair. Our students responded to Covid and lockdown outstandingly well, demonstrating great determination and ability, we are so proud of all of them and are determined that not a single student is let down by the statistical system of grade allocation that appears to have been stacked against students like ours and seems to favour of those in more affluent situations.’

Adding to the frustration of the situation he said ‘We’ve just had one of our best students, Emily Briggs come to us upset with a downgraded A level Spanish result from a teacher assessment of grade A to a board awarded grade C. She thought this might mean she had not secured her place at Oxford. Fortunately, her two other A* grades and sense prevailing at the University means she is on her way to Oxford and we will appeal the unfair grade reduction on her behalf’

Adding his thoughts, Chairman of the Governing Body, Alex Baxter said “notwithstanding some initial nervousness before today, we were entirely confident in our abilities and those of our students to deliver, even whilst diving into the unknown always knowing that with Franklin’s committed team supporting our students, we would succeed but can if necessary ‘deep-dive’ in further support of our cohort and as the premier 6th Form College in the Region remain absolutely on an outstanding track”


Press Release from the Sixth Form Colleges’ Association

survey of principals conducted by the Sixth Form Colleges Association yesterday has found huge variations between the exam grades predicted by teachers and the actual grades that students will receive today. 

96% of the sixth form college principals surveyed reported that overall, the actual grades students will receive today (known as calculated grades) were lower or much lower than 

the grades predicted by teachers (known as centre assessed grades). Despite following the guidelines for developing centre assessed grades, colleges reported that the government’s standardisation process had resulted in huge numbers of students receiving lower grades than expected, with some reporting that two thirds of their results had been downgraded.

More than a third of principals (34%) also indicated that their overall exam results for this year were below, and in some cases dramatically below, their historic exam performance. This comes despite a commitment from Ofqual, the exams regulator, that its standardisation process would be used “to ensure national results are broadly similar to previous years”. Some sixth form colleges reported that their exam results were the worst since records began, while others indicated that this year’s grades had reversed a trend of year on year improvement in performance. 

The survey also found that only 56% of colleges held mock exams for all students this year, meaning that a significant minority would not be able to use these results as part of the government’s recently announced ‘triple lock’ aimed at ensuring students are not disadvantaged by the calculated grades process.


Commenting on the survey findings, Bill Watkin, Chief Executive of the Sixth Form Colleges Association said:

“Our survey suggests that the government’s model for calculating this year's A level grades is flawed and unreliable. A fundamental objective of the process was to ensure year-on-year comparability in exam results – the very clear evidence from our members is that the standardisation model has utterly failed to achieve this. While the national picture is likely to show no significant overall change in grades awarded this year, this average figure masks huge variations. Our members, who between them deliver a quarter of the A levels sat in England each year, have experienced inexplicable variations. The only way the government can rescue this situation, and ensure that thousands of students are not disadvantaged, is to base results entirely on centre assessed grades – the predictions made by teachers. This is the only alternative to what has proved to be a failed experiment by the government to develop a fair process of standardisation”

Notes to editors:

  1. The Sixth Form Colleges Association is the established voice of dedicated sixth form education and the hub of a national network of sixth form providers:
  2. Copies of today’s survey report can be downloaded from the SFCA website here. SFCA sent an online survey to its 106 members on 12th August 2020, the principals of 81 institutions completed the survey - a response rate of 78%. These 81 institutions have around 75,000 students receiving exam results later today. 
  3. Our members deliver a quarter of the A levels sat in England each year
  4. For more information please contact James Kewin at the Sixth Form Colleges Association: 07887 990120