The Prime Minister is among the famous names who have expressed support for students who did not get the A-level results they hoped for.
Rishi Sunak retweeted former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson who continued his annual tradition of announcing that he got a C and 2 Us, adding that “it’s not the end of the world if your A level results aren’t what you’d hoped for”.
The Prime Minister said: “Jeremy has made a career of being the exception not the rule but he does have a good point here – results day is important, but not necessarily a deal-breaker.”
He added that there are “lots of options” available “whatever results” students received, citing apprenticeship courses, higher technical qualifications (HTQs) and the possibility of finding a different university course through clearing.
It’s not the end of the world if your A level results aren’t what you’d hoped for. I got a C and 2 Us and here I am today with my own brewery.
— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) August 17, 2023
Former footballer Gary Neville echoed support for disappointed students and said they should be graded purely on coursework, labelling exams “robotic and methodical and … out of date”.
He told BBC Breakfast: “I have a different belief around exams. I don’t believe you should work for 16 years at school and at college and then it all depends upon a two-hour assessment.
“I think it’s prehistoric. I honestly believe that it needs ripping up.”
Neville helped found University Academy 92 which, according to its website, believes in delivering education that is “so much more than a qualification”.
He continued: “One thing that I do agree with Gillian (Keegan) on is that actually in 10 years’ time no employer is going to look at your GCSE results, your A-level results, they’re going to look at your experience that you’ve had in the workplace.
“But to get into the workplace in the first place you may be judged upon what you’ve actually achieved in these results and I think what you should have is a career passport, a body of work, that you should be able to be proud of, that you should be able to refer to your employers and they should be able to look at.”
Speaking to Sky News, Education Secretary Ms Keegan said: “Somebody asked me, ‘What will people ask you in 10 years’ time?’
“They won’t ask you anything about your A-level grades in 10 years’ time. They will ask you about other things you have done since then, what you have done in the workplace, what you did at university?
“And then, after a period of time, they don’t even ask you what you did at university.
“It is really all about what you do and what you can demonstrate and the skills that you learn in the workplace.”