'Heart-breaking': Havering Sixth Form students miss out on university places

Samuel Cullen

Havering Sixth Form student Samuel Cullen did not receive the grades needed for his university offers - Credit: Samuel Cullen

A Havering college group has defended its A Level results, which saw some students miss out on university places.

Several students at Havering Sixth Form - part of New City College - received emails from teachers claiming the final results were changed by senior management, and urging them to appeal their "disappointing" grades.

Other departments, however, celebrated their success, including The Medics Group which saw every student on the programme getting a place at university to study either Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Science for the first time.

New City College group principal and chief executive, Gerry McDonald stressed the college had followed a "a robust, evidence-based grading and moderation process, focused on data integrity."

He said: "If students have concerns about their grades, it is important that they follow our appeals process so that we can try to resolve these concerns as quickly as possible.

"Where sufficient additional evidence is produced, grades will be reviewed.”

Sixth form student Samuel Cullen was predicted AAB grades, but on results day he received CCD.

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This meant he did not reach the necessary requirements for his offers from Durham and Reading where he hoped to read English.

Samuel told this paper: "I'm in disbelief really, I've never got below a B in English, but I was awarded a D."

"It was a big shock, not just to me but to a lot of students.

"The teachers didn't seem to know about it at all, and said it was out of their hands." 

Samuel's mother Cullen added: "We went to the college and there were students in tears, none had got into university, and the tutors were outraged."

Another frustrated parent said that the college's decision had cost students their "university places and mental health".

A Havering Sixth Form College teacher, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Recorder he was furious about the situation.

He said: "It's an utter shambles.

"The teachers went through a vigorous process to calculate the students' results, then on results day, we find out most students were marked down.

"I've had floods of emails from students in tears it's heart-breaking.

"There are now hundreds of kids in Havering who haven't got a university place."

A protest is scheduled outside the sixth form for later today (August 12).