I am writing to explain how the grades for qualifications will be awarded for your child this year. We have had some additional guidance from the government over the last couple of weeks and we now have enough information to update you.
You are likely already aware that all exams have been cancelled by the government this summer. This means that exam grades cannot be awarded in the usual way. To ensure that all students have the grades they deserve, and are able to continue on to their next level of education/employment, teachers have been asked to make the decisions about each grade.
For GCSEs, the teachers in each subject department will decide on the most plausible grade that each child would have got based on all the information we have from the course so far. We also have to make a judgement about how secure we think that grade would be, using a ranking system. We must then submit this to the exam boards for standardisation. The exam board will use statistical analysis to decide on a final grade for each child, this may be different to the grade we submit.
For vocational subjects (BTEC etc), there will be a similar process, but it will depend very much on the particular course. For some courses there are components that have already been completed, and some where there are only partially completed units. Each awarding body (exam board) will ask us to follow a slightly different process depending on how much of the course is incomplete. Students on these courses should be in contact via email with their teachers to make sure that all work that should be completed is up to date.
It was originally suggested that results would be given to students in July, but the government have now announced that the results days will be on August 13 for Post 16 and August 20 for GCSEs as originally planned.
The government have been very clear that schools are not allowed to share any information whatsoever about the teacher assessed grades awarded in order to protect the integrity of the process. Should a student feel they would have achieved a higher grade in the exam than they have been awarded, they will be given the opportunity to sit an exam in Autumn, however this option will not be available for all subjects and we do not yet have a confirmed list of subjects that this will apply to. I would like to assure you that as professionals we are approaching this task with the highest level of focus. We are working remotely in our subject teams to ensure we are robust and fair in our judgements.
I will provide another update later in the term with any further information we have received.