The Government has unveiled how pupils in England will receive their results after their exams were cancelled this year.
Education Secretary Gavin Williams held a press conference yesterday to discuss how schools would be adapting to the coronavirus pandemic, but he declined to give any details about how pupils will be receiving their grades after last summer's A-Level and GCSE exams were cancelled.
But today (February 25) the Government and Ofqual have revealed how the new system will work.
Under the new rules teachers will be given more responsibility over their students' final grades, using past evidence to determine their results.
The Government has also revealed that it will not be using its controversial algorithm to standardise teachers' grades. However, there will be a procedure for students to challenge their grade if they feel they have been graded too low.
More information about how students will receive their final exam results can be found below.
How will teachers decide pupils’ grades?
Teachers will now be allowed to use a range of evidence to decide what grades their students receive. This will include mock exams, coursework, essays, and in-class tests.
Exam boards will also provide teachers with extra assessment questions that students will be asked to complete to help them decide their grades. These will be optional.
It is understood that teachers will have the flexibility to choose how long students have to complete the task, and where it will be carried out.
Will they use an algorithm?
The Government and regulater has decided that it will not use a computer algorithm to standardise teachers’ grades if they appear too generous.
The decision comes after the grading of students became a fiasco last summer after exams were cancelled when schools and colleges closed. Thousands of A-level students had their results downgraded from school estimates by a controversial algorithm before Ofqual announced a U-turn which allowed them to use teachers’ predictions.
Teachers will instead submit their grades to exam boards by June 18. The exam boards will then carry out quality assurance checks and random sampling on their work.
When will students receive their results?
Normally students receive their results in mid to late August. This year year A-Level students will receive their grades on August 10, while GCSE students will get their grades on August 12.
The earlier date has been brought in so that A-Level students can log any appeals before missing out on university places.
How can pupils challenge their grades if they are unhappy?
Student will be able to appeal their grades if they believe they are incorrect and will be able to do so for free.
They will be able to appeal their grades if:
Appeals will have to go through the school or college first, where they will be asked to check for errors or process issues.
If a student is still unhappy with the grade, then the appeal can be raised with exams boards who will then assess whether the teachers’ judgment is fair.
Students will also be offered the chance to sit exams in the autumn.
What will happen with vocational qualifications?
The results for some vocational qualifications will be released in the week of August 9.
Students studying vocational and technical qualifications, which are often taught alongside GCSEs and A-levels and are often used for university or college places, will receive grades assessed by teachers.
These qualifications include many Btecs and Cambridge Nationals.
How does England’s plans differ to the devolved nations?
In Wales, GCSE, AS-level and A-level students will receive grades determined by their teachers.
Education minister Kirsty Williams has said students will receive grades from their school or college based on work they have completed over the length of their course.
In Scotland, Higher and Advanced Higher grades will be decided by “teacher judgment supported by assessment” and no algorithm will be used to adjust results.
Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland schools will determine pupils’ GCSE and A-level grades.
Results days will remain as previously announced – A-levels on August 24 and GCSEs on August 27.