Ilfracombe Academy has enjoyed a morning of A-level celebration but the head teacher has criticised the Government for mismanaging the grading situation.

Ilfracombe Academy students open their 2020 A-level results. Picture: Ilfracombe AcademyIlfracombe Academy students open their 2020 A-level results. Picture: Ilfracombe Academy

Across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, thousands of A –level students were disappointed when opening their grade envelopes today (Thursday, August 13) to discover they had been downgraded.

But Ilfracombe Academy head teacher Sharon Marshall has been upbeat, saying it had been a positive morning with most students being accepted at their first choice university.

But she was critical of the chaotic grades situation, which followed exams being cancelled for 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead, teachers were asked to submit the grades they thought a student would receive and then these were moderated by the exam board – reports say that nationally two in five grades have been downgraded.

Ilfracombe Academy students celebrate their 2020 A-level results. Picture: Ilfracombe AcademyIlfracombe Academy students celebrate their 2020 A-level results. Picture: Ilfracombe Academy

Mrs Marshall said: “I think everyone is aware, not least students and their families, that the government has mismanaged grading this year.

“This has led to a great deal of anxiety and some students being unfairly moderated down in their grades.

“However, the picture for our students at Ilfracombe and their next steps has been very positive and we have had a morning of, in the main well-deserved celebration at The Ilfracombe Academy.”

This year Ilfracombe students will be setting off to a wide variety of universities – Aimee Cooper will be going to Cambridge to study medicine, Molly Gooch to Brighton to do performing arts, Jacob Haynes to Nottingham to study chemistry, likewise Luke Halls Nottingham for physics and Sadhbh Gates to IC Manchester for performing arts.

Ilfracombe Academy students celebrate their 2020 A-level results. Picture: Ilfracombe AcademyIlfracombe Academy students celebrate their 2020 A-level results. Picture: Ilfracombe Academy

Mrs Marshall said: “We are delighted for them and proud of the resilience they have shown over this whole period.”

Nationally, a record 29.7 per cent scored top A or A* grades this year, despite the many being downgraded, with 35.6 per cent of grades in England being adjusted down one.

Ilfracombe Academy's Aimee Cooper secured top grades and is going to Cambridge to study medicine. Picture: Ilfracombe AcademyIlfracombe Academy's Aimee Cooper secured top grades and is going to Cambridge to study medicine. Picture: Ilfracombe Academy

Ilfracombe Academy students celebrate their 2020 A-level results. Picture: Ilfracombe AcademyIlfracombe Academy students celebrate their 2020 A-level results. Picture: Ilfracombe Academy

Ilfracombe Academy students with their 2020 A-level results. Picture: Ilfracombe AcademyIlfracombe Academy students with their 2020 A-level results. Picture: Ilfracombe Academy

Ilfracombe Academy students celebrate their 2020 A-level results. Picture: Ilfracombe AcademyIlfracombe Academy students celebrate their 2020 A-level results. Picture: Ilfracombe Academy