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Schools to grade pupils based on previous achievements to make up for exam cancellations

Schools to grade pupils based on previous achievements to make up for exam cancellations

3 April, 2020

Schools and colleges will be asked to set a centre assessment grade for each pupil to make up for the cancellation of this academic year’s exams, the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) has announced.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson announced last month that all GCSE, AS and A level exams would be cancelled to limit the spread of coronavirus. As a result, this year’s grades will be awarded based on what schools believe pupils would have been likely to achieve had they sat their exams.

Their decision, however, would have to take into consideration different sources of evidence such as: classwork, bookwork, non-exam assessments, results of assignments or mock exams and previous examination results.

“School or college-based assessment already has an important role in many GCSEs, AS and A levels and in extraordinary circumstances such as these, schools and colleges are best placed to judge the likely performance of their students at the end of the course,” said Ofqual’s chief regulator Sally Collier.

“We have worked closely with the teaching profession to ensure that what we are asking is both appropriate and manageable, so that everyone can have confidence in the approach.”

Ofqual, which has also published additional guidance for pupils, parents and carers, said it would do everything in its power to ensure that pupils will not be disadvantaged by the current situation in their transition to college, university or apprenticeships. But it said that the process for pupils currently receiving home schooling or distance-learning programmes would be more complicated – and some were at risk of having to wait up to another year to receive their grades.

For those who have registered for exams privately at a centre, the centre heads have been asked to provide centre assessment grades and make objective judgements in cases where they are confident that someone at their centre has seen sufficient evidence of a pupil’s achievement. Young people, parents and carers will not have access to the predicted grade until after final results have been issued, as the grades might be altered following the evidence review.


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