Students protest outside Havering Sixth Form over 'unfair' A Level results

Havering sixth form protest

Havering Sixth Form students protested about their A Level results - Credit: Sally Patterson

Protests have broken out at a Havering college following “disappointing” A Level grades. 

Havering Sixth Form students picketed outside the Hornchurch campus this morning (August 12), claiming that New City College (NCC), which owns the college, had unfairly changed their results. 

Matthew Cornish, 18, said he had been rejected from his firm university choice, Birmingham, because he received lower grades than expected. 

NCC protest

Students felt unfairly graded by the college's owner, New City College - Credit: Sally Patterson

He said: “Someone from NCC at the top, who doesn’t speak to the students, had made an executive decision which is costing us our university places and our futures. 

“Why is it our college, which is the public college, which has people from lower-income backgrounds and immigrant families, the one being shafted? 

"It's just not fair."

NCC protest

The protestors asked the public to support them - Credit: Sally Patterson

Fellow student Julia Abazari was predicted AAA, but also missed out on her place at London School of Economics (LSE) to study Law.

Julia said: “If I don’t get into a good university, what am I going to do for the rest of my life? 

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“My whole career path is gone.” 

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Students gathered on Wingletye Lane, Hornchurch to protest - Credit: Sally Patterson

Another student, Chantelle Maromo, was awarded EED grades despite expecting A and B grades. 

She said: “I’m so disappointed- I’ve never seen grades that low on a report card of mine. 

“I think they need to review this process, because it’s a joke.” 

Students who had spoken to senior staff within the school reported that the final decision about grades was not made by Havering Sixth Form staff, but by NCC management. 

Chantelle Maromo

Student Chantelle Maromo felt she deserved better grades than what she had received - Credit: Sally Patterson

Walking out of the college, a teacher at the college, who didn’t want to be named, confirmed NCC managers had changed the grades that tutors had awarded students. 

The teacher said: “Some of my students definitely should have gotten a higher grade than they were assigned, and we have evidence to prove it. 

“The union is very upset about it. 

“Teachers would be here protesting, but if you’ve got a mortgage and a family, it’s not that easy.” 

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The frustrated pupils warned prospective students entering the college they should look elsewhere - Credit: Sally Patterson

Matthew added: “Big companies have come in, and they’re running it like a business, not a college. 

“It’s all about profit and statistics, it’s not about students.” 

Earlier, NCC 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."