Update from Ofqual
6 April 2020
Dear Parents, Carers and Students,
I understand how unsettling the past weeks have been for you, since the announcement that exams have been cancelled this summer, and that you are urgently waiting for news. As mentioned in previous correspondence I have been waiting for further announcements from Ofqual which is the government department that regulates qualifications, exams and tests. Now that this information has been published I wanted to share with parents, carers and students the plan for all GCSE, AS and A Levels. In order to help you understand these plans, Ofqual’s Chief Regulator, Sally Colliers has produced guidance which is outlined below. Parents and carers, please can you share and discuss this with your child/ren as it is a lot to take in.
From Sally Colliers, Ofqual Chief Regulator:
Ofqual’s over-riding aim in this is to be fair to students this summer and to make sure you are not disadvantaged in your progress to sixth form, college, university, apprenticeships, training or work because of these unprecedented conditions.
How will grades be calculated?
Your school will be asked to send exam boards two pieces of information for each of your subjects, based on what they know about your work and achievements:
- the grade they believe you were most likely to get if teaching, learning and exams had happened as planned
- within each subject, the order of students at your school, by performance, for each grade. This information will be used to standardise judgements – allowing fine tuning of the standard applied across schools and colleges
Your school will consider a range of things like your classwork and homework; your results in assignments and any mock exams; any non-exam assessment or coursework you might have done; and your general progress during your course.
This information will allow us, with exam boards, to standardise grades across schools and colleges, to make sure that, as far as possible, results are fair and that students are not advantaged or disadvantaged because their schools or colleges are more generous or harsh than others when making those judgements. That means the final grade you get could be different from the one your school or college sends to the exam board.
Do I need to complete any new work for my school/college to submit a grade?
Your school 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?
No, this information will be confidential. Please don’t ask your teachers, or anyone else at your school, 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.
When will I get my results?
We’re working hard to get results out as soon as is possible – results won’t be delayed after the dates they were expected in August, and ideally they will be issued a little earlier, so you can have the certainty you need.
Can I take my exams another time?
We are working with exam boards to offer additional exams in the autumn term as soon as it is possible to do so. We’ll let you know about these in the coming weeks.
The information we have published covers GCSEs, AS and A levels, plus Extended Project Qualifications and Additional Extension Awards in maths. We will keep updating our guidance as new information becomes available, including to share details about vocational and technical qualifications as soon as we can, so please keep an eye on our website.
Please be reassured that the grades you get this summer will look exactly the same as in previous years, and they will have equal status with universities, colleges and employers, to help you move forward in your lives as planned.
With every best wish,
Sally Collier - Chief Regulator, Ofqual
Ofqual have also produced a more detailed Guidance for Parents which includes a very useful set of questions and answers. Please click on the link provided.
I will keep you and your sons and daughters informed as and when I receive further information and guidance. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the information provided or any queries about next steps please contact Mrs Kowalczyk, Deputy Head Teacher for KS4 (email@example.com) or Mrs Osman, Head of KS5 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Executive Head Teacher