Btec students left in limbo after grades delayed by exam board

Btec students said they have been left feeling like “second class students” after being left waiting for their final grades.

Hundreds of thousands of students have been left in limbo after the exam board told schools and colleges not to release Btec results to pupils on Thursday.

These grades were not included in the original exam-grading U-turn, but on Wednesday — with hours to go until results day — examiner Pearson said it would regrade Btecs to “address concerns about unfairness”.

Caleb Taylor, 19, is waiting for the results of his Level 3 Btec in computing and business.

His father Richard said he has been unable to enrol at his college in Gwent to study his Level 4 next year without knowing his final grades.

He told the PA news agency: “I think it’s a disgrace. He feels like he is a second-class student, and Btecs are seen as less important than A-levels because they have been sorted out last.

“Technical qualifications shouldn’t be seen as less than. My son is really anxious because he doesn’t know what he will be doing next year.

“He plans to go to university but it is a good thing he didn’t want to go this year because he would have missed out on his space.

“There has just been no communication, we just don’t know what is going on.”

Around 200,000 Level 1 and 2 entries were due to receive grades on Thursday, with 250,000 Level 3 grades awarded last week.

Schools minister Nick Gibb apologised to students on Thursday morning for the “pain and the anxiety” they felt before this week’s exam grading U-turn.

He said he is hopeful that students will get their Btec results next week.

Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, called the move “upsetting and chaotic”.

She said: “The Government must put an end to this incompetence and work quickly to ensure every young person gets the grades they deserve to move on to the next stages of their lives.”

University Alliance chief executive Vanessa Wilson said: “It’s vital this gets sorted as soon as possible to enable young people’s aspirations to be realised and allow universities to confirm decisions on places where relevant.”

Mairi Watson, pro-vice-chancellor for education and student experience at the University of Hertfordshire, said her university had offered Btec students places based on either their awarded results or predicted grades, whichever was higher.

She said: “We are disappointed that these students are facing a delay in the results awarding process.

“Btec students study a wide range of courses that are critical to our future highly skilled workforce, from engineering to healthcare, and are often better prepared for university studies as a result of the self-guided nature of their portfolio-based studies.

“We need to give them the certainty about their futures that they deserve.”