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A level predicted grades

(39 Posts)
SaltyMyDear Mon 18-Jun-18 11:53:54

School is refusing to predict DS the grades he needs to apply for the university course he wants to do.

Originally The teacher said he’d either get an A or an A* but he wasn’t allowed to predict an A*

Now he’s saying DS works not good enough to predict an A* - which I totally don’t believe given his earlier comment.

Is there any way I can reason with school so they don’t destroy his dreams?

I’m aware how hard it is to get an A* I’m also aware why he ‘only’ got an A in his mocks this year and why he should do better next year.

OP’s posts: |
NotARegularPenguin Mon 18-Jun-18 11:58:00

Can’t he apply for the course anyway?

Dd has got predicted grades of AAB and is thinking of applying for an AAA course. I kind of assumed if she got an offer it would be an AAA offer which she would either achieve or not?

noblegiraffe Mon 18-Jun-18 11:59:20

How long a period of time was there between saying A*/A and saying A? Teachers opinions can be firmed up by looking at the student’s work properly and it could be that your DS’s work isn’t justifying an A*.

Teachers can drop students in it by overpredicting then leaving them without a university place when they don’t make the grade, so obviously there will be a reluctance to do this. You might have success if your DS goes in with an acknowledgment that his work isn’t up to scratch, but here is a detailed action plan of how he intends to improve, and that he promises to also apply to universities with lower offers as an insurance.

PandaG Mon 18-Jun-18 12:01:13

Penguin - it depends on the university and course- some will not consider interviewing let alone making an offer if the predicted grades do not match the course requirement.

PandaG Mon 18-Jun-18 12:03:12

Salty - will your DS need to apply in October, or will the deadline be January? If the latter he has plenty of time to pull his finger out? Perhaps if the former can he do extra work over the holidays to prove his intent?

NotARegularPenguin Mon 18-Jun-18 12:15:20

Ah I didn’t know that Panda.

I see stuff on here about going for an aspirational offer, couple of safeish offers and a lower offer. So I assumed the aspirational one would be above predicted grades.

Dd was thinking of going to Nottingham for an open day next week but the course is above predicted grades. Should I tell her not to bother applying/going to the open day?

PandaG Mon 18-Jun-18 12:25:09

Penguin, our experience is Oxbridge not considering - but I reckon one aspirational choice is a good idea, as long as you go for some more realistic ones too. I wouldn't want to put anyone off aiming high, just know from friend's experience what happened in a highly competitive course.

SaltyMyDear Mon 18-Jun-18 12:27:34

He wants to apply to Cambridge so there is absolutely no point in applying without the predicted grades.

Just spoken to his teacher. He says he thinks there’s a 30% chance of him getting an A* therefore he can’t predict it.

But I also know SLT have told him he can’t predict more than 14% A*s and that is the real reason he won’t predict it.

So now I have to take it up with SLT who won’t budge.

What options do I have? Happy to move school but not sure what happens to predicted grades then.

The reason he only got an A in his mocks was because it was the same day as his AS maths exam. He spent all his study time focusing on Maths - because it was an external exam.

But he’s dropped Maths now and there’s every reason to expect he will do significantly better next year.

OP’s posts: |
noblegiraffe Mon 18-Jun-18 12:31:08

I don’t think changing schools would be a good idea at this stage.
If SLT really won’t budge due to arbitrary A* prediction targets (from where?) you could escalate your complaint through the complaints procedure.

Your DS also could take a gap year and apply to Cambridge with his actual results (hopefully the A*!) instead of predicted grades.

NotARegularPenguin Mon 18-Jun-18 12:32:03

Thanks Panda, will tell her to go to the open day and ask.

SaltyMyDear Mon 18-Jun-18 12:38:22

Yes, they're saying 'oh, he can always take a gap year'. But that's not a realistic suggestion.

So, when SLT turn me down, I need to ask what the complaints procedure is - which is presumably a complaint to the governors? And then do it.

Gee, I so want him to move school. This is so unnecessarily nasty.

They've already kicked kids out for their mock grades - which I know is illegal. It's just turned into a really nasty school, and nothing like the prospectus sad

I really, really don't want him to go back there next year.

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glitterbiscuits Mon 18-Jun-18 12:47:13

Have you heard about 'adjustments ' OP?
I understand it to be a bit like clearing but if you get higher grades than you were predicted you can contact universities and 'trade up'
My DS is in year 12 so I don't speak from personal experience but it's something I found out about at an Open Day

noblegiraffe Mon 18-Jun-18 12:47:26

Wow that does sound bad. I’m surprised they are still kicking kids out for mock results after what happened with St Olaves. Surely if they’ve booted kids out then they can expect a higher percentage of students to get the top grades - that’s why they do it after all hmm

The complaints procedure should be on the website, it normally goes governors after the head.

Complaint should be ‘Teacher thinks that student is capable of A*, student needs A* to apply to Cambridge and is being restricted in their ambitions by a prediction target set by SLT’. Don’t understand why your DS should be the one to suffer from low expectations set by SLT.

glitterbiscuits Mon 18-Jun-18 12:50:49

https://www.ucas.com/ucas/undergraduate/apply-and-track/results/ucas-adjustment-if-youve-done-better-expected

I need how to learn to do a clicky link

SaltyMyDear Mon 18-Jun-18 12:58:00

Thanks Noble

I'm waiting for the SENCO to call me back, and hope she can put in a word for me and get it changed. (He's on the SEN register and she's been very good so far)

Otherwise I'll have to make a formal complaint. Which will fail - I will say exactly what you've said.

But not only will the complaint fail, it will also ruin our summer holidays while we wait for it to fail.

Glitter You can't trade up for universities like Cambridge.

OP’s posts: |
glitterbiscuits Mon 18-Jun-18 12:58:03

My attempt at a clicky link https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/university/apply/adjustment/changing-university-via-adjustment-what-you-need-to-know

glitterbiscuits Mon 18-Jun-18 13:02:01

I don't spot in your post he wanted Cambridge.
Is that the only place he will consider?
Depending on the subject some RG unis have courses in clearing which came as a surprise to me.

SaltyMyDear Mon 18-Jun-18 13:04:19

It's not the only place he'd consider. And of course he may or may not get Cambridge.

But if he can't even apply to Cambridge due to this it is so incredibly unfair.

It should be Cambridge that choose, not the school.

They've told most of the pupils on the 'oxbridge program' not to apply.

Noble, what would happen if we moved school?

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glitterbiscuits Mon 18-Jun-18 13:23:42

It sounds a bit dodgy that they have quotas of grades to give out and that the Oxbridge stream is being discouraged.
Can they not take a holistic view looking at GCSEs etc?

FreiasBathtub Mon 18-Jun-18 13:24:06

What kind of school is it @SaltyMyDear? Depending on its performance record at GCSE and A-level, and how many people it usually sends to Oxbridge in a typical year, your DS might be flagged under Cambridge's contextual admissions process.

Also, depending on where you live, his application might get some geodemographic flags. This is all part of Cambridge's efforts to widen their pool of applicants/students and, although they are pretty vague about exactly what this means for individual applications, it should probably mean that missing the standard offer by one grade in predictions won't necessarily mean no interview.

More detail here: I'd encourage you to read it, Cambridge are unusually open about this process!

www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying/contextual-data

SaltyMyDear Mon 18-Jun-18 13:29:38

Freias I think his secondary school might be on the contextual data list, but his 6th form college won't be.

Which is why he has a good chance of getting an interview if they predict him the required grades.

His 6th form college are totally failing to take this into account.

OP’s posts: |
noblegiraffe Mon 18-Jun-18 13:37:18

I’ve never heard of a student switching sixth forms for Y13 (usually they restart Y12) but I would imagine there would be huge issues with finding an alternative who can offer the same options with the same exam boards, and even if you can do that, content may be taught in a different order which could leave gaps in knowledge.
Then you still need predicted grades based on..? The predicted grades of the previous school? And you would need for Cambridge entry, UCAS forms done pretty sharpish and references written by a school that don’t know him at all.

If kids have been kicked out for mock results then you could try to find out what they’re doing?

SaltyMyDear Mon 18-Jun-18 13:41:37

Yeah, looking round none of the schools offer exactly what he's taking.

So, I guess we have to appeal. But that really isn't a good option, because that's just loads of stress. And even if you do win the stress doesn't go away.

Fuck. I'm really out of ideas and options.

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Bluntness100 Mon 18-Jun-18 13:49:19

I think the question here is why he is not one of the 14 percent of students predicted to get an A*. 14 percent is quite a lot.

I think the school would not be being completely honest if they predicted him an A* when they know it's a 70 percent chance he won't achieve that.

I get the frustration you are feeling, but the bigger picture is will he achieve it or not, and sadly at this stage it seems unlikely. If it was 50/50 the case would be stronger.

I would appeal but I think you may find rhe school will stand behind their predictions for him. As an educational establishment they stand to lose reputation and damage students if they become renowned for wasting universities time by erroneous predictions.

However if it was me, I'd still see what I can do for him to get the prediction but I'd also try to understand the schools position.

FreiasBathtub Mon 18-Jun-18 13:49:33

Salty I'm not an expert on Cambridge admissions (especially as so much of it is devolved to the colleges) but given that DS's GCSE school is potentially underperforming and that we're talking about a one-grade difference at A-level predictions, I wouldn't assume that not changing the prediction will mean no interview.

Does DS have a preferred college in mind? It might be worth contacting a few admissions tutors (contact info will be on the college websites) and just asking them whether missing the standard offer by one grade at prediction stage would be a complete dealbreaker. Is the underprediction in the subject DS wants to study? What are his GCSE results like?

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