UK

Pupils should apply for university AFTER getting grades, private girls’ schools say

Apply for university AFTER getting grades: Pupils should wait for their A-level results before sending degree application… with freshers starting lectures in JANUARY, private girls’ schools say

  • Heads say pupils’ university places based on predicted grades leads to ‘stress’
  • Powerful lobbying group recommends shifting the entire process to the autumn 
  • The idea is one option being considered by the Government for A-level students


Pupils should apply to university after getting their grades and start the term in January, 150 private girls’ schools have urged.

The Girls’ Schools Association (GSA) is lobbying ministers for an overhaul of the system to improve pupils’ mental health.

Heads say the current arrangement of giving places based on predicted grades leads to ‘stress’ and too much ‘negotiation’. 

They recommend shifting the entire process to the autumn and sending pupils on work experience while they wait to hear back.

Heads say the current arrangement of giving places based on predicted grades leads to ‘stress’ and too much ‘negotiation’ 

It comes after the Government held a consultation about moving university admissions to after A-level results day in future. 

A decision is expected imminently, and the GSA, representing more than 150 elite schools, is a powerful lobbying body.

Its new president, Samantha Price, said using predicted grades can put students under an ‘enormous amount of pressure’. 

The head of Benenden School in Kent said: ‘I don’t think it is fair… and I also don’t think it caters for young people’s mental health.’ 

The GSA’s idea is one option being considered by the Government. The other option is to have pupils apply in the normal way before results – but only allow offers afterwards.

It comes after the Government held a consultation about moving university admissions to after A-level results day in future

It comes after the Government held a consultation about moving university admissions to after A-level results day in future

In her first comments since taking up her post, Mrs Price said pupils found it hard to ‘enjoy’ the last year of school because they were ‘worrying’ about ‘making the grade’.

She added: ‘We have to recognise that there is a mental health crisis in our country’s young people.

‘Doing away with predicted grade offers and moving to a post-qualification system would minimise the negative impact of striving for the “holy grail” of grades.’

Mrs Price said pupils could apply to universities once they have their A-level grades, with tutors able to allocate places based on their grades.

They could then take up work placements for four months and begin university in January, with the first year reduced to two terms rather than three.

Schools could also lay on classes in topics such as financial literacy during that time for outgoing students.

‘I do think it’d be a very good opportunity for meaningful work experience for students,’ she said.

‘I think there’s quite a lot of community work actually that young people would really benefit from getting involved in and that also really helps with mental health issues as well.’

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