20 October 2020

Online GCSE Maths Tutor

From 8 – 16 years old

OFQUAL Announcement

I wanted to make you aware that OFQUAL have published their guidance regarding how this summer’s grades will be calculated and awarded. The link at the bottom will take you to the relevant page on GOV.UK.

Here’s a summary of the findings, in case you don’t want to read through the entire document…

As always, I’m here if you have any questions.

Stay safe!

Jon

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How will my grade be decided?

For this summer’s exams only, your grade will be decided by your teachers. Your teachers will be asked to submit two bits of evidence.

First, they will be asked to estimate the grade you would have received had you taken all the exams and completed any other assessed work.

Secondly, teachers are then being asked to rank each student within each grade. So if 6 students have been given an A in a class, the teacher will then need to rank the 6 students who have been given an A.

They will be issued guidance on the sorts of things to take into account when reaching these judgements. The decision will be holistic and cover many aspects of work including classwork and non-examined assessment (coursework) . Mock exam results can be part of this but they will need to be judged in the context of overall performance and will not be the decisive factor.

Teachers are being urged to be ‘cautious’ about taking to consideration any work completed since the lockdown.

Teachers judgments will also be subject to statistical checks.

What will prevent them being biased?

Heads of department and head teachers will be asked to sign off grades and it’s likely that the exam boards will provide some support for teachers in making decisions.

Once results are received by the exam boards a range of statistical checks will be applied to make sure they are not too generous or too mean. These checks will include looking at the expected grade distributions nationally, the evidence of previous student performance at individual schools and colleges and the prior attainment of the centre's cohort in national assessments or at GCSE.

Based on this evidence exam boards will adjust the grades from schools and colleges upwards or downwards, using the rank order, to account for any severity or generosity.

Nationally, it is likely that overall results will be in line with last years.

What if I think my grade is wrong?

There will be an appeals process. The details have not been released yet but it’s worth bearing in mind that the appeal will probably only look at the process the school or college used to determine a grade, not the details of the grading itself.

There will also be an extra set of exams in the autumn term. As yet, there is no detail on what form these will take and what subjects and levels will be offered. But universities may well offer a later start date for students sitting these exams.

Will this year’s grades always be seen as inferior to other years?

They should be seen in exactly the same way as grades achieved in any year. They will be recognised by employers and universities and should allow you to progress normally in education, work or any other field.


What don’t we know yet?

Results days

There will be a results day but we do not know the exact date. The education minister has stated that the aim is the end of July.

Appeals

We don’t yet know how this process will work including costs and timings. We can say however that there will be an opportunity for schools/colleges to appeal on behalf of a student if they believe there has been a mistake in the process.

Autumn exams

The timings and arrangements have not been decided yet.
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