Coronavirus: UCAS and University information
March 23, 2020

Dear parents,

Please find a copy of the information I have sent to pupils in year 13 today containing a brief summary of what Universities are saying currently.

We know that this is a worrying time for students who are anxious about their A Level grades and their offers from Universities, so we are writing to pass on to you all that we know at the present time. This situation is certainly fluid, and we still await clarification from examination boards as to how A Level grades are to be awarded.

The view from UCAS and Universities

A couple of universities have already contacted pupils, with conditional offers and converting these to unconditional.  So far, Liverpool John Moores and Edge Hill have begun this process so, for these applicants, their place is assured for next year.  Universities are updating information on UCAS Track accounts, and pupils are urged to check these periodically for possible updates.

Other Universities have written to state that they are awaiting further information from the Government, Ofqual and examination boards.

Cambridge University did post some advice that may be prudent to follow; essentially they are asking their applicants to keep a log of any and all disruption that they may have faced.

This is not limited to Coronavirus, but could include periods of illness, teacher absence or other disruption to your education.

If such a log is kept, then a university could be more lenient with an offer in order to take into account any extenuating circumstances.  In previous years, they would take into account instances of sickness, accidents, death of family members or other major factors which could have an impact upon an individual’s performance in examinations.

There is no guarantee that this will make any difference, however, if you are in a situation in which you believe that circumstances may have negatively affected your performance, then it is wise to collect evidence to support such a case. As UCAS receive information, they will write to students to let them know what is happening.

We, therefore, are waiting to be informed as to how final grades are to be awarded.  Currently, I am compiling evidence that may be required such as predictive test scores (from the Alis test) and grades used for university entrance predictions.

At the moment, there is the possibility that such work will be required, especially where internal assessment forms part of final grades.  Each teacher will have told Year 13 the deadlines for his or her particular subject, and it is important that pupils continue to work to submit this material at an early stage in case it is required as evidence.

Where access to School is required to use the Art or DT Centres, then this is not possible, however, where essays or diaries/logbooks are required in EPQ, PE / Sport, Drama and whenever a teacher has requested work, then this material should be emailed or posted to teachers at school so that the evidence is available if called for.

In summary:

  1. Keep working on tasks set by teachers and contact them via email for feedback;
  2. Collect evidence of work such as marked essays, in case this is called for;
  3. If you have suffered any other disruption to your education, collect evidence of this as well;
  4. Check UCAS Track and University pages for information about how offers for 2020 autumn entry are being dealt with.

Best wishes,

Mr M J Farnell