Isle of Wight education leaders have slammed the way A-levels have been graded - calling the process 'unfair' and an 'injustice'.

Young people from across the Island picked up their results on Thursday.

It should have been a time to celebrate with friends and to plan future work and education.

But that rite of passage has been overshadowed by coronavirus, which has shut schools and forced vital exams to be cancelled - leaving uncertainty for those caught up in the chaos.

As the County Press reported in a live blog, while some won a place at university, others did not get the grades they needed.

Read more: A-level results on the Isle of Wight - everything you need to know!

It led heads and teaching staff on the Isle of Wight to voice their disappointment for the hardest hit students.

Their concerns focus on what the government calls a “triple lock” approach to awarding grades.

Read more: Exam results: What is the Government’s ‘triple lock’ solution for school leavers?

In Scotland, leaders have performed a u-turn - moderated grades have been cancelled and replaced by teacher estimates.

In England, pupils have been awarded moderated grades derived from teacher assessments and mock exams.

Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely has promised to raise the concerns of parents who have contacted him, saying he believes there is a case for the Government to consider adopting Scotland's approach.

Scroll down to read his statement in full...

The government argues that those unhappy with their grades can, in some cases, appeal to use their mock exam grades, or sit exams in the autumn.

However, schools must provide evidence for appeals to take place and it is unclear whether universities will hold the places of those choosing to challenge their grades.

Isle of Wight County Press:

"A system that has clearly disadvantaged some children" - Nora Wade, Christ the King College

At Christ the King College in Newport, a 'significant number' of students had their teacher assessments downgraded.

Some dropped by as much as three grades, leading the Head of School to call the process 'misguided'

Nora Ward said: "Mock exams are a diagnostic tool not necessarily indicative of a student’s performance at the end of the course.

"Our mocks were sat in January, long before the courses were completed.

"At the heart of this there are individuals who have pinned their hopes on grades for university, future employment or apprenticeships. The application of a statistical algorithm ignores this.

"A day of celebration has been marred by future uncertainty and a system that has clearly disadvantaged some children.”

The sentiment was echoed by Ryde School Head Master, Mark Waldron.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Mark Waldron, from Ryde School said he was angry

He told the County Press: "I am angry, on behalf of the upper sixth. This is not justice. It's not fair.

"A lot of people are not getting the results they deserve because of very strange systems. We'll be challenging it.

"Many are getting into the universities they deserve because the universities are showing more sense, but this is not good."

Head of the Island VI Form in Newport, Dave Mumford, said it was an unprecedented situation.

He urged those who did get the grades they needed to be proud of their achievements.

He said: "In twenty five years of teaching, it's the most extraordinary year I've ever had. All sorts of things had to change. Some students have got some cracking results. They need to understand they have earned them and they should be proud."

Peter Shreeve, Assistant District Secretary of the National Education Union, said the assessment of teachers should have been trusted, calling the triple lock 'a menu of bad options'.

Isle of Wight County Press:

The Island VI Form's Dave Mumford urged students to be proud

Ryde School's Head Master Mark Waldron argued that this year's grades were a lottery.

He said: "Really good GCSE results should be an indication [someone is achiever] but they aren't looking at any of that.

"They're judging it on the results of previous years, not the actual pupils.

"In some subjects they have looked at teacher grades, for example, English. In other subjects, such as biology and chemistry, they've paid no attention whatsoever.

"In classes where there are fewer students, they've trusted the teachers' grades. In classes where there are many students, they've used the statistical model.

"The results depend on the subjects you've chosen, not your ability.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson tweeted on Thursday, "Congratulations to all students receiving results today – you should feel proud of everything you’ve achieved in these difficult circumstances. Thank you to all the teachers and staff who have supported their students, enabling them to take the next steps in their lives."

What about GCSEs?

Next Thursday, Island schools reopen again - this time for GCSE results.

In an open letter to Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely, Island Labour says action is needed to prevent 'outrageous injustice.'

Richard Quigley wrote: "Unlike A-Levels, the government decrees that there is a pass/fail border in GCSE between grade 3 and grade 4. Those children who receive a grade 3 or below are deemed to have "failed".

"This has major implications for their future lives, as the grade 4 is seen as a minimum requirement by sixth forms, FE colleges, apprenticeships and other providers.

"Next week, if OFQUAL ignore teacher predictions, as they did with A Levels, and again base grades on an algorithm which prioritises school history and location, then dozens, possibly hundreds, of Island children will be declared 'failures'."

"They need lots of complaints"

Nick Stuart, the Isle of Wight's Liberal Democrat Chair, said: "I've personally spent the last 2 days dealing with the fallout from ludicrous downgrading of every single A Level result for a teenager, including an extended module that was school marked last year."

"So many parents across the Island face this distress and we want to know why this predicted chaos happened, what the Govt are going to do to solve this problem and how they will avoid this being repeated for the GCSEs."

"It is clear that the Govt has decided to ignore the extra efforts and professionalism of the teaching profession and go for made up exam grades based on incompatible information and bad statistics."

"The Education Secretary PR approach of soothing words and pretence that mock exams and special autumn tests can solve their problem is laughable."

"We are in the middle of a crisis and the Govt won't listen to advice so they need lots of complaints. Unfortunately our MP seems unable to respond so I recommend you contact Gavin Williamson, the Education Minister, directly with a copy to Mr Seely and Mr Stewart leader of the Conservative Council and suggest they ensure the Govt follows the lead of Scotland and Wales, in dealing with this issue"

What has the Isle of Wight's MP said?

Bob Seely MP said: “While everyone would have preferred GCSE and A level exams and assessments to have gone ahead this summer, cancelling them was the right decision to help tackle the coronavirus outbreak. I appreciate the enormous pressure this has put on students and teachers this year and I am keen to see students receiving results that reflect the work they put in prior to, and during, lockdown.

“I have received a few emails from Island parents who are concerned about the grades their children have been awarded and, having read their emails, I share their concerns and will be raising these with the Government to ensure they are fully aware of how the current system is impacting the lives of some young people. I note the steps the Scottish Government has now taken, choosing to award students with grades predicted by their teachers, and I believe there is a case for the Government to consider adopting this approach. We must take account of the fact that we are living in unprecedented times and recognise what our young people have been through.

“There are two important points to make. First, any student unable to receive a calculated grade, or who would like to improve their grade, will have an opportunity to take exams in the autumn, or could retake at a later date. Second, students can appeal – through their school or college – if they believe the process this summer was not followed correctly in their case. I strongly encourage all students with concerns about their grades to consider these options and do what is right for them.

“If anyone wishes to raise concerns with me about A level results this year please do contact me. I am particularly interested to hear from teachers.

“Finally, I would like to congratulate the many Isle of Wight students who have secured the grades they hoped for, or needed, and I wish them well for the future.”