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18 August 2022

Congratulations to all of our students today.

It has been lovely to welcome back so many students this morning and it has been great for our staff to be here to celebrate with them and support them with their next steps.

It is incredibly important that we take a moment to celebrate and acknowledge the tremendous achievements of all our young people. It can be easy to forget that most students ​​were unable to sit GCSEs in 2020 and so this summer’s exams were the first external assessments that they took.

As our students receive their A level results today, as always there can be conflicting news reports and articles which can give some uncertainty. We have always known that this year was a ‘transition year’ between 2021 (when assessment was done directly by schools and colleges) and 2019 (the last year exams took place). This means that overall grades will be about halfway between the two nationally.

It does not mean that marking was harsher – the marking was done by exam boards in the usual way. Instead, it means that when setting the grade boundaries, exam boards have been more generous than in a normal year to bring grades closer to 2021 levels.

This is also unaffected by any of DHSB’s historical data, including what our students achieved last year. Marking and grading are done at a national level, with all students across the country being treated the same way.

Considering the disruptions and challenges that our students have faced over the last couple of years they have worked extremely hard and demonstrated great determination and commitment to their studies. They deserve the highest recognition and rewards in progression to their next steps.

I would like to convey my sincerest thanks to all of the staff who have worked tirelessly over the years to support our students, especially during Covid-19 in the last two years.

I would also like to convey my sincerest thanks to our parents and carers who have provided fantastic support to their children over the years and in particular have had to guide them through a extremely challenging time, together with the brilliant efforts of our young people they are celebrating an excellent set of results and most importantly are progressing to their next exciting adventures.

We wish all of our Year 13 students every success with their next steps and we look forward to hearing from them in the future on how they are getting on.

Good luck!

Ms Davidson, Assistant Head Post-16, added, "We are so happy to have spent the morning with families celebrating success at school - smiles and hugs all round! Families have been faced with all sorts of challenges and although in some cases exams have been the least of these trials, success today has been rewarding and a true validation of the efforts and hard work of our young people, their parents and their teachers. Universities will be fortunate in taking on some great DHSB students this autumn for full-time courses and this year we have seen an increasing number of students declining HE places instead taking up part time places for degree apprenticeships with companies in the sectors of engineering, accountancy, business and the forces".

Please also find an open letter from Ofqual and UCAS to all students receiving results today.


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