Covid cohort collect their A-level results

STUDENTS across the Island will be opening their A-level results today following the cancellation of exams due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The unprecedented situation means that their grades have been based on predicted scores from teachers, coupled with historical data held by schools.

It is not yet known if the pandemic will have an impact on the numbers of Jersey students going to university this year, or if students deferring will mean an increase in competition for next year’s intake.

Jersey students – including those due to go into Year 13 in September – have been urged to consider all of their options by Skills Jersey career adviser Robert Campbell.

‘Be proud,’ he said. ‘It’s been a tough year. Seek support if you need it – speak to a careers teacher and careers adviser if you need to.’

Today’s JEP contains a special What Next? supplement, which is also being delivered to schools for results day. It is aimed at helping students to explore different options, whether that be further education, training, apprenticeships or entering the world of work.

Mr Campbell also encouraged students – including those who could potentially face extra competition next year – to look at the options available and how they could build their experience.

‘For those in Year 12 now, it may well be a more competitive environment as they go towards university, but I guess they can only control what they can control, focusing on themselves and taking the opportunities that are available to them,’ he said.

‘If they are unsure what they want to do at university, then now is the time to start thinking about what they want to do. We are seeing more things open up in the Island – opportunities for work experience, Saturday jobs, etcetera. Trying out different areas is a really good way to build up some relevant experience to help make that important decision.’

He added: ‘Have a conversation either with a careers adviser or careers teacher to identify what your goals are. It’s a case of making sure students are aware of the alternative routes, because there’s not just one way to get to different roles.’

Meanwhile, Assistant Education Minister Jeremy Maçon said he was unsure how the extraordinary changes faced by this year’s school leavers may affect the number going to university.

‘It’s a tricky one – we just don’t know at the moment,’ he said. ‘Initially some of the feedback we are getting from, say, student finance is that some students are interested in taking on a deferred year. So, for example, if their course was to have a module in another country, like some language courses for example, those students are looking to take a deferral at the moment because if you’re doing that type of course exposure is the best thing for you, so they’re having to consider doing something else in the meantime.

‘Whereas we have some other students saying the job market might be a bit tricky going forward, but actually this is a really good time to study and use that opportunity to do what they want to do.’

Group director of Education Sean O’Regan added: ‘Some of the feedback I’ve had from young people directly, and through their headteachers, is that a lot of young people really miss the fact that they didn’t get to sit the examinations. Examinations can be stressful, but some feel they missed out on their opportunity to prove themselves.’

Mr O’Regan also said that there were a number of options for studying in Jersey, such as institutes like Highlands College and the Digital Jersey Academy.

‘We are constantly reviewing the on-island offer,’ said Mr O’Regan. ‘We’re constantly talking with Jersey businesses about the skill sets they need in our young people, because why wouldn’t we develop our very talented young people for jobs that are in Jersey?’

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