• michaelabennison

I'm Hurting for the Students of 2020

Like many, I'm reeling from the fiasco that is the A Level results scandal.

I've scrolled down Twitter reading the stories of students who've had their dreams snatched out from under them. I've retweeted offers of help with careers advice and covering the cost of resits. Students are threatening legal action. As I'm writing this, #removethetorygovernment is trending.

I received my A Level results eleven years ago. I don't have any young people in my life who were affected by Thursday's events. But, after Black Lives Matter and Covid-19 and the lack of arts support and the treatment of migrants, this hit me.


It hit me because I was a working class kid surrounded by wealthy, privileged peers who felt like she didn't belong.

It hit me because it's hard enough struggling to acknowledge your own worth without the system telling you your hard work is worthless.

It hit me because I know that if you're poor or not white or have a disability or have a certain accent its tough enough without the system deliberately screwing you over.

Other publications have explained how unfair the algorithm used to grade this year's students is. And I don't know if this was a deliberate attack on working class young people or simply classism and unconscious bias in action. But willfully or not, the people who decided that this grade calculation was fair turned their backs on ordinary students.

They proved that the UK is a nation where success is only allowed if you're wealthy.

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