Government guidance on GCSE and A Level grades

by | Apr 3, 2020 | Ackworth School, COVID-19

The latest information regarding the awarding of GCSE and A level grades has been released by the Government.

As we move forward in these uncertain times, the question resting on the lips of students and educators revolves around the awarding of grades this summer. In order to provide clarity, Sally Collier the chief regulator of OFQUAL, the government’s examination regulatory board, has offered guidance to parents and guardians as well as students outlining the steps to be taken.

In short, the measures taken for the awarding of GCSE and A Level grades are the same. The school is required to submit a projected grade for each student in every subject taken with classwork, prep and any coursework or mock examinations taken into consideration. Students will not be disadvantaged if no mock examinations have taken place or any classwork or prep has not been completed whilst learning remotely. Secondly, a list, broken down into subjects, ranking each student based on their performance; this will be used in an effort to standardise grades across the country.

This information will not be publicly available.

As the guidance states that GCSE and A Level students no longer require further work to be set, the school has seen fit to continue the education of its students with an objective of gaining a head start on the curriculum for next year. As such, Year 11 students will begin projects around their chosen A Level subjects. Year 13 pupils will be set extension activities, and research projects pertaining to their chosen degree.

Evidence has shown that schools and colleges are best placed to predict grades, with teachers being able to correctly ascertain a student’s projected grade with a high degree of certainty. As such, Collier was quick assert that all grades awarded will carry the same weight as previous years, a fact the Head, Anton Maree, was quick to echo:

“We will continue to support pupils in any way we can throughout this process. I assure you that your hard work will be judged fairly.”

Students who feel their grade does not match their ability will have the option to appeal their grade, a process for this scenario is still in development. Failing that, they may wish to take a formal exam in the autumn or summer 2021. In this situation, both grades would stand.

A deadline for the submission of information is yet to be announced, but will not be before 29th May, with reassurances that the announcement of grades will not be delayed beyond 13th August for  A Level or 20th August for GCSE; the likelihood is that they will be released slightly sooner.

The full breakdown of the guidance has been released on the government website.