How will grades be awarded this summer?
Grades for GCSEs and A levels will be based on a process involving assessment against national standards, internal quality assurance, and external quality assurance by the examination boards.
The national process defined by the Department for Education and the exams’ regulator, Ofqual is as follows:
1. Teachers will assess students against a national standard, which will be defined by the examination boards before the Easter break.
2. Departments will submit grades which will be quality assured by the school. This internal quality assurance process will have to be signed off by the examination board to ensure it is rigorous and in line with national standards.
3. Our school grades will be quality assured externally by the examination boards, which may include random sampling of our school’s evidence.
4. If the examination boards are confident in our submitted grades, then the examination boards will award students their final grades.
5. If students do not think their grades are accurate, they will have the right to appeal.
So, do teachers award the grade?
Simply: no. The grade students achieve will start with the department’s assessment of their performance across a range of evidence. This is against a nationally-defined standard, not a single teacher’s opinion. This assessment is then subject to both internal and external quality assurance before the final grade is awarded by the examination body as usual.
Will grades be different between different schools and colleges?
No, the standard against which teachers will be assessing students is set nationally by the examination boards. This is the standard that will be used during external quality assurance and appeals to ensure consistency and fairness across the system.
What evidence will be used?
Departments are able to draw on a range of assessment evidence from across a student’s study of the course. Different departments may use different sources of evidence, and there is no requirement for any one type of assessment to be used, it’s about a performance across a range of evidence.
Can students discuss their grades with teachers?
Under the guidance to date we are not allowed to disclose the final submitted grades of a student.
Students should not attempt to second-guess the grade that will be submitted, as departments will be using a range of evidence to inform their final grade. Students and parents must not pressure teachers to reveal the grades the department is submitting, or to increase the grades, as doing so may be considered examination malpractice.
What should students do to improve their grades?
The best thing students can do is to continue to attend their lessons, learn, act on feedback from their teachers, revise for the forthcoming assessments this month and in the summer, and read around their subject. Their grade will be based on their performance, and so their outcomes are ultimately in their hands.
What are the School’s plans up to today?
The School has produced a School Assessed Grades Policy, in line with guidance from JCQ. Each department has produced a Department Rationale Document to fully identify the evidence to be used to determine a grade.