Commenting on Sutton Trust research looking at the impact of the pandemic on this year’s exams and university admissions, Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:  

"The stresses of the pandemic are not over for young people, and the government continues to fail them.  

'The Sutton Trust Research Brief confirms the experience of teachers: it is students from disadvantaged backgrounds whose preparation for A Levels has been most disrupted. It is these students who will suffer most from the new rationing of university places.  

'A government seriously committed to levelling up would have made stronger attempts to mitigate the effects of Covid on exam preparation. It would have ensured the funding that would have prevented universities from cutting back on places.  

'As it is, the government’s inadequate programme for educational recovery is compounding the damage done by the pandemic. The full effects of this double failure will be felt in the years ahead".