A Level results protest planned in Leeds over downgrading "scandal"

Two West Yorkshire students have organised a protest in Leeds over the A Level results "scandal".
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James Fishwick and Martha Storey, both 19, are calling on anyone who is angry about the way this year's exams have been marked to make their voices heard in Millennium Square on Tuesday.

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Ofqual, the exams regulator for England, this weekend suspended its criteria for students hoping to challenge their A-level grades on the basis of their results in mock exams - just hours after publishing it, throwing the process further into disarray.

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James and Martha are both first year university students, but are both involved in widening participation and educational equality projects at their respective universities.

James, who studies history at the University of Bristol, said: "The way they have worked out the grades is ridiculous.

"The downgrades have mainly gone towards people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

"It's screwing them over. It's really difficult to get into a top university, or any university at all really, especially for students from these backgrounds.

Martha Storey and James Fishwick.Martha Storey and James Fishwick.
Martha Storey and James Fishwick.

"They are effectively saying they are not worth it.

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"What I find absurd is they have been giving out 'U's' - an E or above is a pass - to students, when no one has even been able to take an exam to fail."

The pair both went to Greenhead College in Huddersfield, rated 'Outstanding' by Ofsted, to study for their A-Levels, but James went to secondary school at Castle Hall Academy in Mirfield and Martha went to St John Fisher in Dewsbury - both schools are currently rated as 'Inadequate' by Ofsted.

Martha is now studying maths and philosophy at the University of Oxford.

Students sitting exams (photo: David Jones / PA Wire).Students sitting exams (photo: David Jones / PA Wire).
Students sitting exams (photo: David Jones / PA Wire).

The pair are calling on students, teachers and politicians across Yorkshire to come to speak at the event, which is not party political.

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James added: "What this is doing is entrenching the educational elitism that is so prevalent in British society today."

He pointed out that a disproportionate number of people at the top of society are privately educated.

"It's about educational equality," he added. "This has been a massive screw-up and it is not on."

The event starts at 2pm, and there will be a strong focus on social distancing and hygiene measures.


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