As we now have more details on how the authorities intend to award grades for Upper Sixth students for A Levels, AS Levels and GCSEs, we would like to explain how we intend to support students during the next few weeks. Please note that we do not yet have guidance from OFQUAL for vocational courses.
We fully understand just how unsettling this situation is for students who have been working so hard to prepare for examinations and whose time with us has been cut short. We will be supporting all of our students as best we can and will work to ensure that our Upper Sixth students achieve ‘the qualifications they need and deserve’ as the Prime Minster has said.
The grading process, as outlined by OFQUAL seems sensible and well thought through. The link to the official guidance can be found here: GCSEs, AS and A level awarding: Summer 2020
OFQUAL has also published a letter to students which can be found here: OFQUAL Letter to Students
In effect, for every GCSE, AS and A level subject, Exam Boards will require each school, college or other exam centre to submit the following information for each of the students’ subjects based on what we know about their work and achievements:
- the grade we believe the student was most likely to get if teaching, learning and exams had happened as planned within each subject. This is called a Centre Assessment Grade (CAG)
- the order of students at the College, by performance, for each grade. This information will be used to standardise judgements – allowing fine-tuning of the standard applied across schools and colleges. We have been asked to use a range of information like classwork and homework; results in assignments and any mock exams; any non-exam assessment or coursework that students might have done; and their general progress during their courses. This information will allow OFQUAL, with Exam Boards, to standardise.
The deadline for submitting the information will be no earlier than 29 May 2020.
Once these grades are submitted, a process of statistical modelling will be applied which will calculate the grades for each centre and student. If a centre’s judgements are more generous than would be expected, then the final grades for some or all of the students will be adjusted down. On the other hand, if it appears that the judgements are more severe, then the final grades for some or all of the students will be adjusted up. OFQUAL has said that it will do this to align the judgements across centres, so that, as far as possible, students are not unfairly advantaged or disadvantaged this summer.
We are not permitted, under any circumstances, to share the centre assessment grades nor the rank order of students with our students, or parents/carers or any other individuals before final results have been issued since the final grades for some or all students could be different from those submitted.
Appeals against Grades
We have been informed that the normal arrangements for reviews of marking and appeals will not apply. Centres should expect the possible grounds of appeals to be relatively narrow and potentially that the only grounds for appeal would be that the statistical model has not been applied properly to the centre assessment grades for a particular centre.
Students who feel that their grades from the summer do not reflect their ability will have the opportunity to take their exams in the Autumn series or in Summer 2021.
Lower Sixth Students
Remote learning will resume on 20 April. Staff will show support and flexibility with students at this difficult time. They have been asked to make a note of students who are not engaging and we would request that you encourage your child to contact the College via the usual channels if they are not engaging for a particular reason. A message to their teachers and Group Tutor would be very helpful, for example. We appreciate that these are difficult times and will bear this in mind when dealing with students.
Upper Sixth Students
Following the Easter break from 20 April, teaching departments will be considering what requirements need to be met to ensure that students have completed the course and crucially, that they will not be disadvantaged should they decide to pursue the subject further at a higher level or to sit exams when they are available.
Students following vocational courses (including BTEC/CTEC), should continue to complete any coursework/assignments that they have been set by their teachers safely from home. Teachers are setting work which should be accessible to all students and in line with current guidelines from the Exam Boards.
We recognise that this message will not answer every question. Students can raise problems and concerns individually with their teachers, should they need to do so.
As a college, we have been immensely proud of the way our students and staff have responded to this unprecedented situation. Thank you for your forbearance and, when there is any further information to share, we will post this on our website.
Exam Grading Arrangements Explained Ofqual Video
Information for students expecting GCSE, AS or A level results in summer 2020 – Ofqual Youtube Video