A-Level Results 2020 update- A further statement from the Warden

16th August 2020

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Wadham College has been giving careful consideration to the position of 2020 applicants who have missed their offer conditions following this year’s system of exam grading. This consideration has included discussion with departmental admissions coordinators across the University. 

For many years now, in order to further our mission of opening Wadham College to the brightest and best from all communities, we have pursued a policy of offering ‘clemency’ to some applicants who have narrowly missed their grades, particularly if they come from disadvantaged backgrounds or from poorly performing schools. We recognise that young people in this category who have risen to make competitive and convincing applications to Oxford are remarkable- and it is no surprise to us that once they arrive in Wadham they perform to the same high standards as the rest of their cohort. These students deserve to be here and we are fortunate to have them. 

This year, we have followed the same process. However, it has become increasingly clear to the College that this year’s formal gradings are not adding to our knowledge of applicants’ ability to the extent that we could safely conclude that some of those previously selected for offers should now be denied their places. 

We have therefore concluded that the right course is for the College to rely on the assessments that tutors made in offering places to these candidates. These assessments involved detailed scrutiny of academic records and university-organised subject aptitude tests, and face-to-face interviews. Importantly, they also included a careful consideration of the nature and quality of each applicant’s schooling along with other contextual information.

In these circumstances, and with full confidence in their ability, Wadham College will admit all 2020 offer-holders. Those applicants whose courses are now full will be guaranteed deferred entry for 2021.

Ken Macdonald QC