How BBB became AAA for soon-to-be-trainee journalist Jenny

Sussex student Jenny Bathurst is going to be studying journalism at the University of Brighton (Eastbourne campus).

Jenny Bathurst
Jenny Bathurst

The coronavirus crisis robbed her of the chance to sit A levels. We have asked Jenny to share her thoughts on the difficult times we are living through... Here is her latest contribution.

After last week's A level results fiasco, Jenny has now got the results she deserves...

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"Had the government not announced a U-turn surrounding exam results just last Monday, this article may have had a rather angrier tone. When writing my previous column I had only just arrived home from the college to begin tapping away on the keyboard, and so I had little idea of the magnitude to which English students’ (namely from state schools) results had been cruelly downgraded. As a relatively optimistic person I tend to search for the positives in a situation, but when hearing that we had been randomly assigned grades by a computer algorithm, downgrading 40% of teenagers, I was shocked by the injustice of it. This may sound incredibly dramatic, but when considering that A-Levels often determine university places and a variety of options for the future, it was clear that this was an entirely unfair system. Not only this, but teachers around the country had worked tirelessly to ensure that every student was receiving a grade that truly reflected the work they had invested in, only to be ignored entirely. Sorry – rant over!

"Despite this year’s shambles I was fortunate enough to receive a place on the University of Brighton’s journalism course, gaining three Bs on Thursday 13th August. I mentioned last week that I was erring towards the side of not appealing, however my mindset was altered just hours after writing this, when discovering that nearly every single one of my friends who had received grades that morning was planning to challenge the letters on that piece of paper. I didn’t follow suit in an attempt to simply copy everyone else or due to peer pressure, but the ease with which it was possible to do so made the idea all the more tempting. I truly felt that if enough people appealed, the government would have to change things – and they did. We will now be assigned grades predicted by our teachers, individuals who have worked alongside us and watched us grow not only academically, but as young people. It was not a case of believing that my results were ‘bad’ or that I am ‘above a B’; it was the niggling feeling that had I sat the exams I could have accomplished perhaps a higher set of grades, alongside the knowledge that my teachers had predictions that better reflected the hard work I had applied.

"At the time of writing, I received the email containing my Centre Assessed Grades just twenty minutes ago. Although I am not yet aware of how other students have achieved comparatively, to see pupils finally attain what they have deserved since the beginning will be not only a relief but a joy. I have now been awarded AAA, and for that I am extremely grateful. I don’t doubt that this may become a stressful period for those who will use their revised grades to confirm a university offer, but ultimately this comes as a victory for all young people. Social media can certainly be a damaging outlet, but I truly believe that without it we may never have been able to comprehend the sheer volume of teenagers in that heart-breaking situation and consequently take action. Our voices were heard loud and clear, and this brilliant outcome for all has confirmed my hope for this generation of young people.