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Idris Elba sends Barking and Dagenham College pupils a video on results day

Idris Elba has encouraged students to find the career they really want 

Luther actor Idris Elba has sent a video message to students at Barking and Dagenham College, telling them they “bossed it” with their results. 

Idris studied there in the 1990s, and said the college “gave me the first steps to my career and I definitely know it is going to give the same to you.”  

Every BTEC student at the college received the grade their teachers put forward or better, while around 40 per cent of the grades awarded for A-Levels will be different to teachers’ predictions. 

Barking and Dagenham College’s principal, Yvonne Kelly, thinks this is partly because BTEC results are based on assessments which were completed throughout the course. 

She said: “Whilst A-Level and GCSE results are based on what a student achieves in an exam at the end of their course, BTECs, which are more hands-on practical courses, builds on their achievements as they progress through the course.”

Pupils studying for BTECs are assessed in a variety of ways which can include coursework, projects and practical work linked to real companies and businesses. 

The assessment grades, which show what each student has learned in each unit, are submitted to the awarding bodies and the final grade is calculated from there. 

Students receiving their BTEC results (credit: Barking and Dagenham College)

Yvonne continued: “The way BTECs are graded is a much truer reflection of students learning and achievements than what we are seeing now with A-levels and GCSEs.”

She also believes BTECs may be more useful for students looking for work in a post Covid-19 economic climate. 

“Not only do students develop specialist knowledge and skills within a particular area, they also learn the ‘soft’ skills that you need in any workplace such as resilience and adaptability,” continued Yvonne. 

“The true reflection of a vocational qualification is that you can apply your skills to different contexts.  Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the economic climate and we have seen many stories about job cuts.  Having those transferable skills will help set you apart from the crowd and help young people who are about to start carving out their career path.”

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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