Since the Secretary of State announced that exams would not take place this summer we have been working around the clock with the Department for Education, Ofqual and the other exam boards to define the detail of how assessment will work.
On 3 April 2020, Ofqual announced further information about how GCSEs, AS and A levels will be awarded this summer.
For this summer’s awards, schools and colleges are being asked to provide centre assessment grades for their students. These should be fair, objective and carefully considered judgements of the grades schools and colleges believe their students would have been most likely to achieve if they had sat their exams, and should take into account the full range of available evidence.
This unprecedented situation calls for an unprecedented approach. We welcome this decision and believe it is the best way to deliver fair results at this challenging time. It’s important that professional teacher judgements are taken into account, that a wide range of evidence is used and that there will be a clear appeals process. Students that prefer to sit a paper for certain qualifications later in the year will also have the opportunity to do so.
We also know, however, this update will prompt many questions. To help with this, Ofqual has a comprehensive series of questions and answers that represent the agreed procedures and arrangements to-date.
This update applies to GCSE, AS and A levels, Extended Project Qualifications (EPQ) and Advanced Extension Awards (AEA) in maths. We remain committed to ensuring that all UK students who are undertaking international GCSEs and A levels receive a result and a grade. As shared previously, we will award grades to these students using the same principles as for the UK GCSE and A level qualifications. Following this announcement by Ofqual, we are moving forward with further detailed work to confirm how the Ofqual principles announced will be applied to our international qualifications (International GCSEs, International AS Levels and International A Levels). We will continue to engage with our UK stakeholders who use our International qualifications for their students throughout this process, and we will share further details on this as soon as possible.
Following close discussions with the Department for Education, awarding bodies and other stakeholders, Ofqual has also now announced further information about how vocational and technical qualifications will be awarded in 2020. You can find more information here.
In the meantime, if you would like to speak to us directly, you can submit questions through our contact form or by calling +44 (0)344 463 2535.
Thank you for your ongoing patience and support. We continue to work as quickly as possible and aim to provide you with further information after Easter.
Learners in schools, colleges and higher education across the UK have put in huge amounts of work to get to this point and we intend to ensure they achieve the grades they deserve to move to the next stage. At times like these it’s important to look after ourselves physically and mentally.
If you or your students are feeling stressed or anxious, take a look at the mental health and wellbeing support available to help you through this difficult time.
My thoughts and best wishes are with you all.
Senior Vice President, Schools