- Richard Endacott, from Langley Academy in Berkshire, claimed students with the offers dropped at least a grade
- Students receive offers five or six months before exams and can lose motivation
- Unconditional offers are on the rise, with 51,615 receiving one in 2015/16
Headteachers have told universities to stop dishing out unconditional offers ‘like candy’ because they fear it encourages teenagers to stop working for their A-levels.
One headteacher even claimed that students with conditional offers drop ‘at least’ a grade from their predicted results.
The number of unconditional offers handed out has risen dramatically in recent years, with 51,615 receiving one in 2015/16, compared to just 2,985 two years before.
Phil Stock, deputy headteacher of Greenshaw High School in Sutton, southeast London, told the Times: ‘If they get their offer in the autumn they still have five or six months of A levels to go. They can miss whole chunks of the course if they ease off. That is knowledge that they really need for their degree.’
He added that universities needed to stop handing out the offers like they were candy because the pressure of hitting their grade offer helps students go the extra mile.
Headteachers have told universities to stop dishing out unconditional offers ‘like candy’ because they fear it encourages teenagers to stop working for their A-levels (file photo)
Richard Endacott, head of sixth form at the Langley Academy in Berkshire, joined Mr Stock in his criticism of the offers but said they were damaging to students’ mental health.
He said: ‘Being told you don’t need A levels in order to go to university, after years of being told you do, is too much pressure to place on a young mind. They cannot really cope with that idea.’
Mr Endacott added: ‘Absolutely it affects performance. I would say students with unconditional offers drop at least a grade.’
A study from Ucas showed that in 2015 pupils with unconditional offers were 23 per cent more likely to miss their predicted result by two or more grades.
Jane Lunnon, head of Wimbledon High, even said that unconditional offers were like ‘bribery’.