Thousands of young people are facing bleak futures due to a lack of university places and poor career guidance, it has been claimed.
Speaking ahead of this year's A-level results, Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said the union hopes that despite errors on several exam papers this year, results will reflect the hard work put in by students and their teachers.
However, she claimed there are concerns for the thousands of students who will miss out on university this year and be forced to pay three times as much in tuition fees next year.
"The government's disgraceful failure to provide a replacement for the careers service it dismantled has left students without access to the clear, unbiased, relevant and up-to-date careers advice and guidance many will need," Dr Bousted commented.
"And how will the government justify why thousands of students with outstanding grades will have to pay three times as much as their classmates if they can't get a university place until next year?"
She accused the government of gambling with the futures of young people and creating an education system which creates winners and losers.
Dr Bousted argued that there is a gulf between the achievements of wealthy pupils and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The government must ensure that every student has the opportunity to develop the skills, values and attitudes they need to get on in life, she added.
In related news, a recent study published by the Push university guide revealed that average student debts are set to double next year when tuition fees increase.
It was revealed that the average student beginning a degree in 2012 will graduate with debts of more than £53,000.
Posted by Katy Kearns