The government has shared some dates and details with us re the grading of examinations today. Here are some extracts of the key information. The full information is here.
Through the consultation, you had your opportunity to have your say about the exams and it is reassuring to see that 52% of the 100 000 responses were from pupils.
Students will receive grades awarded and determined by teachers, with pupils only assessed on what they have been taught, the Education Secretary announced today (Thursday, 25 February).
Fairness and flexibility are at the heart of the Government’s plans to ensure young people get to their next stage of education or training.
Teachers will be able to draw on a range of evidence when determining grades, including the optional use of questions provided by exam boards, as well as mock exams, coursework, or other work completed as part of a pupil’s course, such as essays or in-class tests. No algorithm will be used.
Teachers will submit grades to exam boards by 18 June, allowing as much teaching time as possible before teachers make their assessments.
Results days for GCSE, A level and some vocational qualifications will take place in the week of 9 August – moved forward from the week of the 23 August. These earlier dates provide additional time for appeals to be completed, so students reliant on those outcomes to achieve their university offer have the best chance of accessing a place.
To support teachers in making their judgements, exam boards will provide detailed guidance before the end of the spring term.
Schools, colleges and other educational settings will conduct multiple checks – such as checking consistency of judgements across teachers and that the correct processes were followed – to ensure as much fairness as possible.
At the same time, exam boards will conduct their own checks, through a combination of random sampling and more targeted scrutiny where they identify cause for concern.
Every student will have the right to appeal their grade.
The proposals being taken forward were supported in responses to the department and Ofqual’s largest ever consultation, with over 100,000 responses of which just over half (52%) came from pupils.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:Young people have shown incredible resilience over the last year, continuing with their learning amidst unprecedented challenges while the country battles with this pandemic. Those efforts deserve to be fairly rewarded.
That’s why we are providing the fairest possible system for those pupils, asking those who know them best – their teachers – to determine their grades, with our sole aim to make sure all young people can progress to the next stage of their education or career.
I also recognise many students need their vocational and technical qualifications to enter into work. Exams and practical assessments in these courses are essential for the students to progress to the next stage, and so it’s right that these continue.
Ofqual’s Interim Chief Regulator Simon Lebus said:
We know how difficult this past year has been for many students, parents, schools and colleges. In normal years, we rely on exams to support students’ progression.
This year it is teachers’ judgement that will be used to assess what has been learned and determine student grades. Assessment cannot itself serve as an instrument to recover lost learning and compensate for the different experiences students will have had in different parts of the country, and the arrangements being put in place will therefore only take into account what students have been taught, not what they have missed. The aim is to make it no harder overall for this year’s students to receive a particular grade than students in other years.
I am confident that these arrangements will allow all parts of the education and training sector to work together collectively to make sure students’ grades reflect what they have achieved and provide a sound basis to enable them to make good decisions about their future.
Best wishes and keep aiming high,
Mrs. J. Stubbs
Deputy Headteacher – Outcomes and Teacher Standards
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