HMC press notice: HMC Independent Schools A Level Results

Press notice

A snap poll of HMC members about their views on this year’s HMC independent schools A level results has revealed:

  • 81% of heads believe this year’s A level results are unfair, only 19% believe they are fair
  • 94.5% have subjects in which the awarded grades are significantly below the centre assessment grades. 5% do not.
  • 37% of heads said their pupils are experiencing more difficulty than normal in getting into university

Ian Power, HMC General Secretary, said:

“HMC is gravely concerned about the individual tragedies lying buried in the data this year. Our members are telling us that whilst the overall statistics might look encouraging on the surface, the right students are not necessarily getting the right results.

“We have heard of students marked down by two or more grades to results which bear no relation to their previous record. The futures of young people from all sorts of backgrounds in every type of school are being put at risk and we are as frustrated and confused as colleagues in the state sector.

“Too many pupils are left with little idea about why this has happened, how to appeal, whether their particular mock exams will be admissible, and whether a system which has already let them down will be too slow to allow them to move on this Autumn. Heads are working tirelessly to get them answers which are not yet forthcoming.

“These are the same young people who were told by the government that everything would be done to help them move on to their next stage in life. We have supported the attempts by the regulator to design a robust model under challenging circumstances, but it hasn’t worked well enough. The appeals system must be sorted out immediately so pupils can move on and schools can turn their attention to a safe and happy start to the new school year.

“The government must move fast to ensure the COVID generation is not further punished.”


About HMC

HMC (the Headmasters’ & Headmistresses’ Conference) is a professional association of heads of the world’s leading independent schools. HMC has 296 member schools in the British Isles educating more than 200,000 children, and a further 55 international members and 10 associates. Our members lead schools that are distinguished by their excellence in pastoral care, co-curricular provision and classroom teaching. Members of HMC have met annually in conference since the first meeting in 1869. HMC is a thriving, proactive Association of leading figures in school education.


13 August 2020