A-LEVELS 2020: Wait nearly over for West Norfolk students
Thousands of West Norfolk students are waiting to learn their fate this morning as this year's A-level results are released.
The publication of the grades is usually the day when teenagers find out if they have done enough to head off to university or down their chosen career path.
But, with fierce controversy about how the exams have been handled this year, today may well not prove to be the end of the story for many.
The traditional exams were scrapped by the government in the spring, as part of the widespread shutdown of public life triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead, ministers said grades would be determined from a range of evidence sources, including performance in mock exams and non-exam assessments.
But, earlier this week, the Department for Education announced schools could appeal to have students' results upgraded to the higher grade from either a predicted grade, mock exams or an exam to be sat in the autumn.
Officials claim that is meant to make the system fairer, though the move has been widely condemned by opposition parties, students' groups and teaching unions.
That followed an apology from the Scottish government, which had faced heavy criticism over claims some students had been unfairly penalised because they attended schools which had performed poorly in previous years.
But, despite the political rows, education chiefs in Norfolk say there are many options available to students once they have their results.
John Fisher, Norfolk County Council cabinet director for children's services, said: “The best of luck to those students who will be heading to the university or the job of their choice.
"For those who haven’t received the results they hoped for, there are plenty of options out there. This could mean heading to a different university, studying a new course or starting their working life with an apprenticeship.
“We have high aspirations for education in Norfolk and today is a time to celebrate the achievements of our students and teachers.”
One option available to students could be a degree programme at the University Centre West Anglia, on Lynn's College of West Anglia campus.
A clearing hotline will be open from 8am today on 01553 815650 for students to discuss their options.
And, in this unique year of exam results, we want to hear from you. Are you a student who is looking forward to university with the grades you hoped for? Or do you feel you've been let down by an unfair grading system?
You can get in touch by emailing email@example.com or sending a message to our Facebook page.