Today is GCSE Results Day, a key date in our calendar where we pause to celebrate the achievements of our incredible pupils.
Unfortunately, for the second year in a row, we are reflecting on the disruption the pandemic has caused to their education at such a crucial time in their lives. Pupils have continued to lose vital months of learning in the classroom and national examinations have been cancelled again.
Despite these uncertainties we want to celebrate the commitment and resilience of this year’s pupil cohort in an incredibly challenging year. They have engaged with our sessions and continued to seek help, while managing the external disruption and pressures surrounding them.
We also want to thank our amazing volunteers who have given so much support, encouragement and positivity to these young people. They have made a significant difference to their lives this year and to their futures. Thank you for remaining committed to our work and the charity as we all navigated the obstacles together.
The GCSEs pupils are awarded today have been decided by their teachers. We recognise this wasn’t an easy decision for the Government to make or an easy process for the teachers who have already been burdened with so much this year. However, we are concerned the disadvantaged pupils we support won’t have been fairly assessed.
Research shows disadvantaged young people are more likely to be under-predicted by their teachers than their peers and they generally do better when they sit their exams than when they are assessed by teachers.
Disadvantaged pupils have also been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, due to lack of support and access to tech at home and may have been less likely to return to schools once they reopened. This will have impacted the progress they made and the opportunities to demonstrate their academic abilities to their teachers.
Being undermarked could severely affect the future opportunities available to our pupils and their confidence to progress.
We are proud of our pupils and incredibly grateful to our tutors for what they’ve achieved this year.
Covid has continued to have a significant impact on education, growing the academic attainment gap. We want to stop this growth in its tracks and minimise, as far as possible, the damage the pandemic has caused. We can’t do this on our own.
We need more volunteers than ever before to reach as many disadvantaged pupils as possible and give them the sustained catch-up support they need and deserve. We have hundreds of opportunities to get involved, both through face to face tutoring and online – it’s now easier than ever to help out. If you, or anyone you know, can help this year, apply now!