Summer Exams 2021 - Consultation Process
19 Jan 2021
Summer Exams 2021
You will be aware that the department for education has released its proposals for how students will be awarded their GCSE and Advanced grades this summer. This is a consultation that closes on 29th January and they are keen to receive feedback from schools, parents and students.
The link to the document is below and I would urge you to look at it and discuss the proposals with your son or daughter then submit your views.
The proposals do differ to the method that was used last year.
We fully appreciate this is an anxious time as these grades mark a really important point in your son or daughters future. However, I would request at this point you do not ask staff for estimated grades for your child as they will not be able to provide this information until the final process for awarding grades is confirmed.
Should you need any clarification on anything please contact us and we will try to help.
Joint consultation with Ofqual on how GCSE, AS and A level grades should be awarded in summer 2021
To support we have included the main points of the proposal below:
• The curriculum should continue to be delivered so all students are equipped to progress to their next stage of education
• Grades must reflect what a student knows, understands and can do
• A student’s grade in a subject will be based on their teacher’s assessment of the standard at which they are performing
• They are not proposing to ask teachers what grade a student might have received if they had been able to take their exams (like in 2020)
Link With Exam Boards
• Exam boards should provide guidance and training, and make available a set of papers, which teachers use with their students as part of their assessment.
• Exam boards will not be able to set grade boundaries
• External quality assurance by the exam boards would be ongoing throughout June
How This Can Work In School
• Teachers should assess students on the areas of content they have covered and can demonstrate their ability, while ensuring sufficient breadth of content coverage so as not to limit progression
• Teachers should only take evidence-based decisions about the grade they recommend their students be issued, using a breadth of evidence
• Students would be assessed by their teachers in a period beginning in May into early June
• Teachers would continue to assess NEA (Coursework) and it would contribute to the final grade
• Other sources of performance evidence could include: formal tests, mock examination results and substantial candidate work (which relates to the qualification specification, and where the school or college are confident it was completed without support / external support)
• Greater weight should be given to evidence of a student’s performance that is closer to the time of the final assessment
• Teachers would submit grades to the exam boards by mid-June
• It is not clear if exam boards are producing papers how they could ensure fairness unless it becomes an exam season with set dates for papers.
• They would have to produce a menu of test papers that teachers could select from but keeping these secure and offline would be very difficult
• Teachers should not tell students the grade they have submitted to the exam boards on their behalf
• They propose that all students who do not believe their grade reflects the evidence of the standard at which they were performing can appeal
• Results would be issued to students once the QA process is complete, most likely in early July