Since the announcement that the GCSE exams are cancelled, we understand that the past few weeks will have been unsettling for you and your child. Following the recent Ofqual publication on Friday 3 April 2020, which provided guidance to schools on how grades will be awarded this summer, we wanted to inform you about what your school will be doing to provide students with grades. The details are set out below or you can watch this useful video from Ofqual:
The overarching aim is to be fair to students and to ensure that they are not disadvantaged in their progress to sixth form, college, apprenticeships, training or employment, as a result of these unprecedented conditions. Schools have been asked to send the exam board two pieces of information for each subject studied by your son/daughter:
1. A fair and objective judgement of the grade they believe students were most likely to receive if teaching, learning and exams had happened as planned. Teachers will consider a range of evidence including classwork and homework, results in assignments and any mock exams, any non-exam assessment or coursework completed to date, as well as a student’s general progress throughout the course.
2. A rank order of students within each grade boundary. This information will be used by Ofqual and the exam boards to standardise grades across all schools and colleges nationally. This is to ensure that, as far as possible, results are fair and that students are not advantaged or disadvantaged because their schools or colleges are more generous or harsh than others, when making those judgements. This means the final grade students receive could be different from the one their school sends to the exam board.
Please note that schools are not permitted to share the information provided to exam boards with students or parents/carers, as instructed by the Department for Education.
The above guidance is currently for GCSE grade 9-1 qualifications. A decision and announcement on vocational and BTEC qualifications is expected from Ofqual later this week. This will be shared with you all, following the Easter break.
Furthermore, schools are not required to set additional mock exams or homework to help evidence students’ assessment grades and students will not be disadvantaged if work was not set, or students were unable to complete any work given out, after schools were officially closed on 20 March 2020.
The regulator has said that once schools submit their assessments to the exam boards no earlier than 29 May 2020, the process to produce the final grades will start. It hopes to publish the final grades on or before the usual mid-August results season.
There will be a clear appeals process and students who prefer to sit an exam for certain qualifications will also have the opportunity to do so later in the year.
Whilst this guidance may not answer all the questions you may have at this stage, it does give us all a clear process for moving forward. We will be working hard to ensure that students are awarded grades accurately and fairly within this framework.
If you have any questions, please contact your school directly.
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