FINAL: Agreed Details on How GCSEs and A levels will be marked In Light Of Coronavirus School Closures

No further work or assessments required, teacher judgements not to be shared ahead of submission to exam boards and the big reveal is expected to be in August

Ofqual have today (Friday 3 April) set out the final agreed details about how GCSEs, AS and A levels will be awarded this summer in the light of exams being cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, and published further guidance for teachers, students and parents. 

Based on the guidelines issued earlier in the week from the Association of School and College Leader (explained in this BLOG), there are no big surprises. However, confirmed information from The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation includes:

• A two-part submission is required by the school for each subject 

• The final decision that no further work or test data is required

• Schools must not share gradings with students before submission

• The ‘big reveal’ is expected to be in August


How will the grades be calculated? 

The final decision on how the grades will be calculated is based on two pieces of information each school will be asked to submit:

1) the grade the school believes each pupil was most likely to get if teaching, learning and exams had happened as planned in each subject

2) within each subject, the order of students at the school or college, by performance, for each grade. This information will be used to standardise judgements – allowing fine tuning by exam boards before final grades are published. 

Although “previous performance” is noted there is no mention of using SATs results to guide any part of the submission as was feared by some parents. Previous marks in recent assessments will be regarded as key evidence but there is no specific requirements for final submitted grades to be based just on mocks. 

Ofqual released guidance for Heads of Centre, Heads of Department and teachers.

Importantly, they also included a message to students.

Message to students

In addition to detailed guidance to school leaders and teachers, Ofqual have also included a letter to students which answers two key questions on all GCSE and A level pupils’ minds:

Do I need to complete any new work for my school/college to submit a grade?
Ofqual says: Your school or college is not required to set additional mock exams or homework for your centre assessment grade, and you won’t be disadvantaged if you were not set, or were unable to complete, any work given out after schools were closed.

Can I see the grades my school/college submits for me?
Ofqual says: No, this information will be confidential. Please don’t ask your teachers, or anyone else at your school or college, to tell you the grades they will be sending to the exam boards or where they have placed you in the order of students; they will not be allowed to share this with you.

Source: Message to Students 

So, dear parents, that’s that then. Clarity at last and, we hope, the chance for you and your children to move on in terms of gradings. Now there is just the nervous wait for A level students as universities decide on their offer criteria.