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Crouch End student’s dentistry dream ‘destroyed’ after downturn of her A-level grades

PUBLISHED: 18:16 17 September 2020 | UPDATED: 18:52 17 September 2020

Vanessa Kapllani, 18, had her heart set on King's College where, pictured here, she previously achieved the top mark in a widening participation programme at the university. Picture: Vanessa Kapllani

Vanessa Kapllani, 18, had her heart set on King's College where, pictured here, she previously achieved the top mark in a widening participation programme at the university. Picture: Vanessa Kapllani

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A Crouch End student says her lifelong dream to study dentistry at King’s College London has been “destroyed” after she was awarded BBC for her A-levels despite being predicted A*AA.

Vanessa said she had lost trust in the government and her school. Picture: Vanessa KapllaniVanessa said she had lost trust in the government and her school. Picture: Vanessa Kapllani

Vanessa Kapllani, 18, had university offers to study dentistry including from King’s and Liverpool after her strong set of predicted grades last year from Woodhouse College.

The coronavirus pandemic, however, meant Vanessa was unable to sit her A-level exams and despite a government U-turn resulting, on the whole, in an upturn of national results, Vanessa’s grades – based on centre assessments from teachers’ estimates – fell well below her predicted grades.

Vanessa said she had subsequently lost trust in her school, the education system and the government.

She told the Ham&High: “I’m angry, upset and confused. I’m now kind of stuck in the middle and I’m not sure what to do.

“My plan since I was 11 years old was to be a dentist. I went to Woodhouse thinking it was going to be the best place for me to get the best grades, that it was going to help me achieve the most.

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“Unfortunately, that dream has just been destroyed so now I have to reassess everything.”

Vanessa, who lives in Crouch End, studied maths, biology and chemistry.

As her A-level syllabus was cut short by lockdown, she is now taking a year out to teach herself the remaining content for each of her subjects, before revising and sitting retakes that will hopefully pave the way for her to pursue a career in dentistry once again.

Woodhouse College, who Vanessa claims have failed to support her and fellow students in similar situations, said it acted according to Ofqual rules through its centre assessment grades.

The school’s principal John Rubinstein said: “Overall, following the government’s U turn, the grades awarded to Woodhouse students were very good, with slightly more than normal getting top grades.

“Of course some students are unsatisfied with their allocated grades, and college staff have spent hours supporting students and helping them appeal to universities.

“The college has received a lot of praise from parents during lockdown for its communication and support of students, but these were unprecedented times and we have learned some lessons about how to improve if it happens again.”


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