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Coronavirus and summer 2020 exams: general qualifications updates

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You can read NAHT's responses to Ofqual's consultations on this summer's awarding here.

Ofqual is continuously updating the following documents:

Ofqual's publishes consultation decision on exams and assessments in 2021

On 3 August 2020, Ofqual published their statement, analysis and decision in response to their consultation on proposed changes to the assessment of GCSEs, AS and A levels in 2021​, in response to the coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic.

Some of the key decisions include:

  • Acceptance of almost all GCSE subject-specific proposals in relation to NEAs, fieldwork requirements, spoken language skill assessments and changes to how content is assessed for GCSE geography, history and ancient history.
  • New changes to GCSE English literature, to introduce a choice of topics on which students are required to answer questions in their exams. These were not consulted on but introduced in light of the responses received. 
  • Ofqual will not be requiring exam boards to change the length or format of papers or to build in more question choice within papers.
  • No adaptions have been proposed to AS or A levels, other than to remove the fieldwork requirement for AS and A level geography, geology and environmental science.
  • Ofqual has postponed a decision on the major proposals in relation to moving timetables for GCSEs, AS and A levels. They will confirm their decisions as soon as possible

Ofqual publishes guidance on understanding results, reviews and appeals

Ofqual has published guidance for students on understanding their results and their options if they are unhappy with their grade, including a BSL signed version (available here). This guidance is accompanied by other resources for students and parents, such as leaflets, and information on the exam support helplines. You can find these here

You can find more detailed information from Ofqual for centres on appeals and reviews for Summer 2020 here, with a useful infographic and resources here and a student guide on appeals here


Ofqual's decisions on autumn exam series 2020

On 30 June 2020, Ofqual published a statement, analysis and decision in response to its consultation on an additional GCSE, AS and A level exam series in autumn 2020, in response to the coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic.

The dates for the 2020 autumn series have now been confirmed as follows:

  • AS and A level exams: Monday 5 October to Friday 23 October 
  • GCSE exams: Monday 2 November to Monday 23 November.

 The entry deadlines will be as follows: 

  • AS and A level: Friday 4 September 
  • GCSE (except English language and mathematics): Friday 18 September
  • GCSE (English language and mathematics): Saturday 4 October.


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 centres make judgements about private candidates, including what alternative sources of evidence can be sought. You can find the guidance 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:

  • AQA (click here)
  • OCR (click here)
  • Pearson (click here)
  • WJEC (click here)​

 

Last updated 28 August 2020