Pupils expelled for low AS grades


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Pupils who fail to attain good AS-level results in their first year of sixth form are being excluded from some of the UK's leading state schools in a bid to protect league table figures.

Fortismere School, in North London, saw more than 10 pupils from year 12 excluded this year because of low AS grades. Pupils affected were handed their exam results in envelopes on which a sticker telling them to consult a teacher was pasted. Some were told to consult a careers adviser, as they would not be returning.

One parent, who did not want to be named, described it as a "neglect of care", leaving children "blindsided and marooned at a crucial stage in their life".

Students in other parts of the country complained that they had received similar warnings.

Fortismere, a highly sought after comprehensive, said the criteria for entry into year 13 is stipulated clearly during parents evenings, prospectuses and on the website. The school's head, Helen Anthony, said: "Fortismere does have high entrance requirements for the sixth form. The reality is some [pupils] do get E grades. But... students know they need to secure D grades. If a student is getting an E grade they are not likely to make it in year 13." She said special cases were always considered.