‘Devastated’ GCSE students given lifeline as Manchester College lowers entry requirement from C to D

By Dean Wilkins

Devastated students who did not receive a C or above in English GCSE are being given the chance to continue their education, as Manchester College cut their entry requirement to D.

The country’s biggest college – which educates 80,000 teenagers and adults – has reacted positively to the examinations row, after thousands of pupils received lower grades than expected following political pressure.

Exam boards deny increasing summer grade boundaries compared with January, but students who did not receive the vital C or above in English can still enrol in dozens of Manchester College.

Teresa Farran, vice principal for the college’s 14 to 19 year olds, told MM: “Students were left absolutely devastated after exam boards raised the grade boundaries.

“It is very, very important that we continue to support them through their education and we have made the decision to lower the entry level to cater for individuals.”

The college will offer extra classes for pupils to get them up to a C grade standard in English – and students who would not have been eligible to apply in the past now have hope of furthering their education.

“Some students’ intended pathway has been blocked by the increase and Manchester College want to support them,” Ms Farran added.

“Many will be relieved to know that they can now come to college and they should talk to us to find out their best way to continue education.”

Education secretary Michael Gove attacked the Welsh government’s decision to have examination boards re-mark their pupils’ exams yesterday.

And Ms Farran claimed that the decision would not be beneficial to those students as the academic year is now underway.

She told MM: “Obviously it’s difficult, but we’re already into the year and students who have been affected by the poor grades may not find it easier to receive new marks.

“I think we need clearer guidance in future to avoid this happening again.”

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