Hornchurch and Upminster MP meets college principal over A Level results

Havering sixth form college A levels saga

Hornchurch and Upminster MP Julia Lopez met yesterday - August 16 - with the principal of Havering Sixth Form College to discuss the A Level results after recent protests. - Credit: Sally Patterson

MP Julia Lopez has met with the principal of Havering Sixth Form College concerning its A level moderation process.

The representative for Hornchurch and Upminster yesterday - August 16 - held talks with Janet Smith at the facility's campus in Wingletye Lane.

This followed an urgent request for a meeting late last week, made in light of discontent over the process which saw some students awarded lower grades than those predicted by their teachers.

There have since been two protests outside the college; the first on August 12, the second yesterday.

When first approached by the Recorder, the group principal and chief executive of New City College, which runs Havering Sixth Form, Gerry McDonald, stressed the college had followed a "a robust, evidence-based grading and moderation process, focused on data integrity."

Yesterday Ms Smith said: “Some appeals we will look at individually but there are some courses where we are going to relook at the moderation process, just to make sure the results were accurate."

Ms Lopez said Ms Smith also confirmed to her that the college is now actively considering all appeals, starting today, with it hoped that students will learn their fate by later this week or early next.

Speaking after the meeting, Ms Lopez said: "It has been an incredibly tough year for Havering students, teachers and parents with the disruption to learning from the pandemic.

"Everyone has worked hard to adapt to these difficult circumstances but getting the right grading and assessment system in place was always going to be a big challenge.

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"I hope that my meeting with Janet will lead to an outcome that reassures students of the integrity of their eventual grades, and helps with their next stage of education or the first steps in their working lives."

Romford MP Andrew Rosindell has also spoken out about the issue, voicing his concerns in a letter written to Mr McDonald on Friday (August 13) while Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas said he is supporting students who are appealing.