For some students, the pressure of A-level exams receded earlier this year when they received unconditional offers from their prospective universities.
However, they were wrong if they thought the pressure was off.
Staff at Luton’s Chalk Hills Academy – which Tes visited on A-level results morning – pointed out that universities can still change their minds about offering a place.
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“We showed them the small print which says that if a whole raft of students come through with better grades then a university can withdraw an offer,” says Lianne Riley-Gough, assistant head of sixth form.
Chalk Hills head teacher Louise Lee says universities should “rethink” the notion of unconditional offers.
She said: “It’s right that a number of universities are under scrutiny for the methods they employ to try to engage students to study with them because they need to make money.
“But I would like to see a rethink because, normally, if you really want to attain something you have to work for it.
“And the information students study at A level can often be essential in their future careers.”
“We noticed there was a slump when the offers came through. With one or two students there was an apathy relating to independent learning they would normally undertake, whereas most of the other students knew they had to work hard.”