Grades put students' futures in doubt

Students who have lost university places because of deflated grades are unlikely to find their situation reversed even if their results are improved.

Jane Minto, head of admissions at Oxford, said: "Students affected by this would be treated in a similar way to those who might be applying for a normal re-mark.

"If an upgrade comes back in time and if there is still a place, we would simply confirm the place. If we are full, as we are now, we could make the candidate a deferred offer for 2003.

"We accept a moral obligation to honour an offer if the students' grades were not marked correctly."

Students from private and state sectors are currently awaiting re-marks. Many have accepted their second choice of university.

Louis Gearing, head boy at the independent Knights Templar school in Baldock, Hertfordshire, had expected the OCR board to award him at least a B for history coursework.

He got an unclassified. He got As in French and German but his U disqualified him from studying modern languages at Oxford.

At Sandy upper school, Bedfordshire, one student received 60 per cent for Spanish and German A2 coursework, which previously merited a C grade. However, an E was awarded.

Five out of 11 pupils at Stratford-upon-Avon grammar for girls received U grades in AQA AS-level history coursework. They were expected to get above a C.

Every student taking an AQA A-level English literature paper at Chasetown high, Staffordshire, received a U.

The majority were A and B-grade students on other modules at AS and A2 level.

The highest final grade awarded in the group was a C and one student was denied her first-choice university as a result.

Leader, 24

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