'People like me aren't being talked about': Student highlights mental health issues amid A-Level scandal

18 August 2020, 18:22 | Updated: 18 August 2020, 18:24

An A-Level student who suffers with mental health issues has highlighted the extra problems caused by the grading scandal.

Clara in Barnet, London claims that issues such as anxiety and depression are not being talked about in the context of the situation.

She said that many sufferers of mental health issues will have been disadvantaged through the new grading system because while some people perform poorly in day-to-day school life, they usually get to demonstrate their knowledge during exam season.

She told LBC's Eddie Mair: "When I heard about this teacher-predicted grade situation I was immediately concerned for people like me who suffer with mental health.

"I have severe OCD, depression and anxiety and it affects my performance in school, but generally I can do pretty well in the final exams when it really matters.

"People like me aren't really being talked about or really considered, and it feels frustrating and disappointing."

Clara explained how when her dad almost died last December she wasn't sleeping well and could "barely answer my questions" during her mock exam.

"When I knew that predicted grades would be largely based on this year I was very concerned," she said.

An A-Level student with mental health issues has told LBC about her struggles amid the grading scandal
An A-Level student with mental health issues has told LBC about her struggles amid the grading scandal. Picture: LBC/PA Images

She added: "Nothing was done to help me and I just think that people who struggle with mental health shouldn't be disadvantaged."

Clara was fortunate enough to get into her university of choice and will go on to study creative writing at the University of East Anglia after sending the university an explanation of the issues she suffers with and how that impacted on her grades.

She warned, however, that many other might not be as fortunate and could omit mental health issues on application forms over fears it may negatively impact on the final decision.

Higher education expert Nick Hillman, who joined Eddie on LBC, said: "The mental health of young people in general - including people at university - is a huge issue.

"One thing that everybody who has particular concerns about their mental health can usefully do is let the university know before you get there so that you're registered with their mental health support services.

"Every university has good counselling services and mental health support services - and they will try to help you but obviously they need to know that you need that support.

"It sounds as if Clara has already done this but I would urge people who are on their way to university to get in touch with the support services of the university they're going to."