Published: 06:00, 16 September 2019
| Updated: 07:54, 16 September 2019
Furious head teachers have slammed an exam board after changing grade boundaries at the last minute just days before results were announced.
Hundreds of pupils across Medway have been affected by the amendments changed by Pearson which have left pupils, parents and teachers frustrated.
Less than a week before results were announced the exam board made changes to BTEC grades throwing the referral system into chaos.
A letter sent out to secondary schools said it was making changes to ensure that grades are "fair and have equal to other level two qualifications".
A petition has been signed by more than 5,000 people nationally urging the board to reverse the decision.
Pearson is the UK's largest awarding organisation offering academic, vocational and work-based learning qualifications.
Head teachers across the Towns are angry because students may have been offered college places on their predicted grades based on the previous points table.
"If the grade boundaries, which had been published for two years, were preliminary and subject to change, they should have said so," Paul Jackson
Paul Jackson, head of Thomas Aveling School in Rochester, described the eleventh hour switch as "a fiasco".
Mr Jackson said: "I think it was absolutely shocking to make this sort of decision.
"If the grade boundaries, which had been published for two years, were preliminary and subject to change, they should have said so.
"Decisions on whether children should re-sit a module or re-do a piece of course work were taken with these boundaries in mind.
"All our students in performing arts got a grade lower due to these changes. Fortunately, their grades were so good in the first place that they all achieved a grade 2 pass or higher so could still pursue their planned next step.
"Over the last few years BTEC and other vocational courses have all had to change due to new Department for Education requirements. This is the first time this has ever had to happen.
"I have signed the petition, not expecting anything to change, but just to express our displeasure."
A letter from Pearson to pupils said if they had been offered a college place based on the original grade boundaries, they should hand the letter to the admissions office.
It reads: “We realise that you may have a college place offered to you based on the previous points table.
"If this is the case, we advise you to use this letter to explain to the admissions office that Pearson has adjusted the qualification grade points table and that your assessment grades are accurate and reflect your achievement of the criteria that was being assessed.”