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Coronavirus and summer 2020 exams: general qualifications updates

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There is no easy or perfect solution when it comes to awarding grades in the absence of exams this year. What we have to do is find a solution that is best for this group of pupils and gives them the qualifications that they have worked so hard for. NAHT continues to work with the Department for Education (DfE) and Ofqual on the details of how this will work and make sure concerns are raised and dealt with to the best of everyone's ability.

Ofqual publishes consultation decision on awarding grades in summer 2020

Today (22 May 2020) Ofqual has published a statementanalysis and decisions in response to its consultation on exceptional arrangements for awarding GCSEs, AS and A levels. It has also published an infographic on the process for awarding GCSEs, AS and A levels summer 2020 and updated its information for students and schools and colleges films.

In light of these decisions, it has updated the following documents:

New Ofqual consultation on Autumn 2020 exam series

On 22May 2020, Ofqual published a consultation on proposed arrangements for an additional GCSE, AS and A level exam series to take place in autumn 2020. The consultation document can be found here.

Alongside this, the DfE has published guidance, which explains that where students wish to sit exams in the additional series, the centre that entered them in the summer should be responsible for entering them for those exams.

We will be submitting a response on behalf of our members, but we would also encourage you to respond if you have time and capacity. Due to the circumstances, the consultation is only running for two weeks and closes at 11.45pm on 8 June 2020.

​Latest decisions from Ofqual

Ofqual has made published some of their decisions on consultation proposals on which pupils should receive a calculated grade this summer 2020.

  • It has now been confirmed that centres must submit their Centre Assessment Grades and rank order between 1 and 12 June 2020.
  • Pupils entered for exams in year 10 and below will now be eligible to receive calculated grades this summer
  • For private candidates, Ofqual has decided that calculated grades can only be provided for private candidates where a head of centre can provide a centre assessment grade and rank order position for that candidate
  • Ofqual has confirmed that a single rank order for the tiered subject must be submitted. Centres should combine foundation and higher tier students at grades 3, 4 and 5 and put them in a single rank order. Within the rank order, they must ensure that the Centre Assessment Grade is appropriate for the tier for which the student is entered. 

Further information on these announcements can be found here

New Ofqual guidance for schools/centres on objectivity in grading and ranking 

Today (15 May 2020) Ofqual has published new guidance for heads of centre, heads of department and teachers on objectivity in grading and ranking when awarding grades in summer 2020. The guidance can be found here. Ofqual has also published an accompanying blog for schools and colleges on making grades as fair as they can be.

New Ofqual guidance on awarding grades to private candidates this summer

Yesterday (30 April 2020), Ofqual published new guidance on the issue of awarding grades to private candidates this summer. This is in response to further guidance from exam boards to support heads of centre make judgements about private candidates, including what alternative sources of evidence can be sought. The guidance can be found here.  

Information is being sent regularly from awarding organisations, and we would advise members to ensure you have provided them with up-to-date contact details, including an email that is accessible at home as well as at school.

The following awarding bodies are also updating their websites with information and guidance:

First published 22 May 2020