Year 11 GCSE gradesA brief update on how the government intends to ensure students are awarded their grades in the summer
The exam regulator, Ofqual, and exam boards will work with teachers to provide grades to students whose exams have been cancelled this summer, following actions to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Following the Department for Education’s announcement on Friday 20th March confirming the process for calculating students’ grades, this is what we know of the awarding process for summer 2020:
- Exam boards will ask teachers to submit their judgement about the grade that they believe the student would have received if exams had gone ahead
- Teachers are being asked to consider evidence including performance on mock exams and non-exam assessment (coursework)
- Exam boards will then combine this information with other relevant data, including prior attainment-based on KS2 SATs scores or other assessments completed on entry to BVC- and use this information to produce a calculated grade for each student, which will be a best assessment of the work they have put in
Based on this information, it is clear that students need to be engaging with their distance-learning, learning new content, revising and consolidating old topics and being assessed by their teachers. It looks as though we can use this distance-learning time to help evidence their final grade.
The current aim as it stands is to provide these calculated grades to students before the end of July.
In terms of a permanent record, the grades will be indistinguishable from those provided in other years; it will not be obvious later in life that these students did not sit exams, putting them at a disadvantage.
The Government’s priority is now to ensure affected students can move on as planned to the next stage of their lives, including going into employment, college or sixth form courses, or an apprenticeship in the autumn.
We recognise that some students may nevertheless feel disappointed that they haven’t been able to sit their exams. If they do not believe the correct process has been followed in their case, they will be able to appeal on that basis. In addition, if they do not feel their calculated grade reflects their performance, they will have the opportunity to sit an exam at the earliest reasonable opportunity, once schools are open again. Students will also have the option to sit their exams in summer 2021.
We believe we should have a clearer picture in the coming weeks which we will share with you as soon as we know.