A DISAPPOINTED school principal has said his students have not been awarded the grades they worked hard for and deserve.

Neil Gallagher, who is the executive headteacher at Clacton County High School, would usually spend A-level results day congratulating pupils as they excitedly receive their grades in the school’s dinner hall.

But this year, students found out about their grades digitally, from the comfort of their own homes, due to the social distancing requirements created by Covid-19.

Like thousands across the country, many students have been left disheartened and upset and feel let down by Government’s decision to cancel exams and predict results.

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Clacton County High School’s Mr Gallagher also feels his students have been done a disservice by the scoring system.

“Exam results time is always emotional for both students and their families, but even more so this year,” he said.

“This approach, whilst broadly fair across the country, does not work for all individuals.

“Normally, I would be writing about the amazing and inspiring achievements of our young people, but this year my response is somewhat muted.

“Disappointingly some individuals have not been awarded the grades they deserve, despite their amazing work and commitment.

“For many of our sixth form students their future is shaped by their grades, and some have had grades changed that, we believe, just would not have happened had they sat the exam.”

Mr Gallagher is, however, still trying his best to take the positives out of the situation and says some of his pupils have achieved some grades which they are pleased with.

He is keen to highlight the unwavering approach to education shown by his dedicated students and excelling staff during what has been an unprecedented period.

He added: “While there are some disappointments, it has undoubtedly been a challenging time for all, there are still some very pleasing outcomes.

“I would like to congratulate all of our students and their teachers for their hard work this year and look forward to seeing our school community back together in September."

Like so many other schools, Clacton County High School opted against publishing their A-level results and did not release them to the Gazette.

But, Clacton Coastal Academy, on the other hand, was more forthcoming, and said students had achieved some excellent results.

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Soaring sixth formers such as Paris Parker secured an A* in Photography, and will now go onto study Fashion Marketing and Branding at Nottingham Trent University.

Chelsi-Ann Morris achieved an A* in Childcare and Education Studies and will continue her education at the University of Suffolk on the Psychology and Early Childhood Studies course.

David Lees, headteacher of Clacton Coastal Academy, said: “Congratulations to our students on their fantastic A-level results.

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“They have worked so hard over their time here and I am so proud of how our students have responded to the challenges of the past few months.

“Whether they are going onto university, high-quality vocational courses, or employment, I am confident that they will continue to make us proud.”

Students at Tendring Technology College also enjoyed a successful results day.

Maths and Science whizz, Ben Moore, for example, achieved two A*s and two As, while Katie Scanlon achieved a trio of As and one B.

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Michael Muldoon, headteacher of Tendring Technology College said: “I wish to pay tribute to and congratulate all of our students on their fantastic A-level and vocational results.

"They have met the challenges of recent months with determination, resilience, optimism and a maturity beyond their years. I consider their achievements to be nothing short of remarkable."

Sixth form students at Harwich and Dovercourt High School were, too, awarded with a successful batch of results, securing a 100 per cent pass rate and 36 per cent A to B grades.

“We are very proud of our sixth form students,” said headteacher Kate Finch.

“It has been a successful year for post-16 students with a 100 per cent pass rate and 36 per cent A to B grades.

“A number of students have achieved what they needed to go on to their chosen courses at university.”