Examinations update: 23/03/2020

Over the weekend, the government shared further information on examinations for Year 11 and 13 pupils and students. It has now been confirmed that all exam boards will not issue papers for GCSE, AS and A levels this summer, regardless of the levels of Covid-19 in England in the coming weeks. This means that no pupils or students will sit their planned examinations next term.

The main points for QEGS pupils and students are detailed below, with the full government update available here.

All pupils and students will soon be awarded ‘calculated grades’, which will serve as formal grades that universities, colleges and sixth forms can use, with flexibility applied.

OFQUAL is working urgently with the exam boards to set out proposals for how the calculated grade process will work, along with teachers’ representatives to ensure a fair approach is taken. They are also using experience from a similar process that is applied when a pupil/student falls ill immediately before their exam, to apply the best possible approach in these extraordinary circumstances.

The government has confirmed that using predicted grades only would not be fair to all students. Therefore, the calculated grades process will take into account a wide range of evidence combining prior attainment and teacher assessment. As outlined in our last examinations update, teacher assessment includes recent performance, further class assessments since mock examinations, classwork, homework and expected impact of the planned revision that was in place.

The grades will be indistinguishable from those provided in other years and the aim is to provide these calculated grades to pupils/students before the end of July. The distribution of grades will also follow a similar pattern to that in other years, so this year’s pupils/students are not disadvantaged.  There will also be an opportunity for pupils/students who are disappointed with their grade to appeal their grades, sit an exam as soon as is reasonably possible after schools open again or sit their exams in Summer 2021.

We want to ensure pupils, students, parents and carers that the predicted grades that we submit will be based off everything we know about the pupil/student, not just mock examination results. Ultimately, it is the examination boards, not QEGS teachers, who will grade based on the evidence above to ensure a process that is as fair as possible is applied.

We hope that this offers some answers to your questions and please know, we will continue to seek more answers from OFQUAL and the exam boards, sharing these with you as soon as we possibly can.