STUDENTS in St Helens have shown “real character and resilience in the face of adversity”, the headteacher of Rainhill High School has said.

This year, students have received a calculated grade after exams were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In some schools and colleges, students have seen their school-assessed grades lowered following moderation by exam boards.

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At Rainhill Sixth, the “vast majority” of students at Rainhill Sixth have clinched their preferred university place, according to headteacher Josie Thorogood.

“I’m delighted with the achievements of our students this year,” Mrs Thorogood said.

“I’m delighted for them that it takes them to their next steps successfully, and I’m delighted that it recognises the hard work and effort that they’ve put in consistently over time because that’s what you then see in those mocks.

“I think what’s particular about this cohort is that they’ve shown real character and resilience in the face of adversity. And I think that’s to their absolute credit, this year, I really do.

“Once we went into lockdown, the work that they continued to do, they did with great tenacity and discipline. For them, looking forward, that’s the most important thing.

“They now have the opportunity that they rightly should have to go on, do great things and be brilliant young people, which is what they deserve.”

The centre-assessed grades that have formed the basis for the calculated grades are the teacher’s professional judgement of the most likely grade a student would have achieved if exams had gone ahead.

However, many students across England have seen their submitted grades lowered following moderation by exam boards.

Some people may be able to appeal their results through the Government’s ‘triple lock’ system, which is aimed at providing a safety net for those students who do not receive the grades they were hoping for.

St Helens Star: Josie Thorogood, headteacher of Rainhill High SchoolJosie Thorogood, headteacher of Rainhill High School

They will be able to appeal to receive a valid mock result or sit autumn exams to ensure the achievements of young people are recognised.

As it stands, schools and colleges still are waiting for information about what exactly defines a mock exam.

The Government has come under fire over the triple-lock system, which it announced at the 11th hour, but Mrs Thorogood said she is pleased students will now have a right of appeal.

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Mrs Thorogood said: “Of course it would be more helpful if things were shared in a more timely way, of course that would be true, but I wouldn’t say I feel a great sense of frustration or anything like that.

“I think it’s a very difficult set of circumstances.

“I pleased that students have got the right of appeal, in effect. I am pleased that we can make sure that students gain the grades that they deserve and the evidence we have suggests they are capable of appealing, and I am pleased about that because that’s in the interests of those students.”