UCL Academy: Sixth formers stopped from sitting A-levels weeks before exams set to take place

New UCL Academy at Swiss Cottage

New UCL Academy at Swiss Cottage - Credit: Nigel Sutton

UCL Academy is stopping some A-level students from sitting their exams this summer because they might not get high enough grades, sending their future plans into disarray.

The Ham&High has seen an email sent to students during Easter, saying those who had scored poorly in mock exams would not be entered for their A-levels.

This caused chaos for those who held offers for university places this year, which depend on their grades.

Instead, the pupils were told they would sit lower-level AS exams.

A UCL spokesperson said it had "reviewed" its exam entry in the light of our questions, but would not confirm whether students' exam enrolment had been reinstated.

They said: "We can confirm that 97 per cent of A-levels will be sat as planned. [We have] not 'off-rolled' any students for this summer's exams. It is not part of our practice, nor has it ever been. We believe it to be ethically wrong."

This has caused disruption for pupils in their final year of A-levels. The only way for barred pupils to sit their A-levels now, is if they pay £500 to £600 to do so privately.

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One pupil at the sixth form in Adelaide Road said it had made her panic as she was forced into rethinking her plans.

They said: "A lot of these people have very good offers from universities to study medicine, or pharmacy. They now have to find alternative ways to go to university, to go next year instead.

"I was happy to start in September and was looking forward to it until I got the email. This is my future. They shouldn't be allowed to do something so major."

Pupils who have spoken to the Ham&High said they have not been offered any careers or emotional support after the change by senior management.

The school added: "If a student's exams shows they are not passing the course, or if a student raises personal circumstances, that may mean a deferral is more appropriate, and withdrawal might be considered. Not to do so could potentially restrict future university applications. This is only done when this possibility has been flagged and discussed with the family."

The pupils the Ham&High spoke to said their families hadn't been consulted, and some parents had been in to speak to senior staff about the decision.