Health secretary ‘recognises’ concerns over medical student places


The health secretary has pledged to do “everything we can” to ensure A-level medical students unfairly downgraded can still get a place at university.

Matt Hancock told Sky News “I absolutely recognise” the concerns raised by the Royal College of GPs that pupils whose marks were lower than their teachers’ predictions are missing out on their top choice for further study.

It is just one of the many practical problems thrown up by the exams U-turn earlier this week.

Professor Martin Marshall, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said a “large number of potential medical students” have missed out on their university places due to the decision coming five days after results were released last Thursday.

“There may not be enough medical school places for students who were initially downgraded through the moderation system, as medical schools have begun allocating places based on previously announced results,” he said.

The number of places are “strictly limited” due to a government cap on funding, Prof Marshall added.

At least 20% more places to study medicine are needed just to ensure there are enough GPs in the future, he continued.

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The group is calling for more funding so that universities who have already filled course places can still take students who initially missed their offer because of the controversial algorithm, scrapped after fury from some students.

Responding, Mr Hancock told Sky News “we’re doing everything that we can and we’re working on this issue right now”.

He added: “I acknowledge the issue, I absolutely recognise it.

“These are difficult challenges and this is something we’re working on now.”

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