Support for Teachers and Exams Officers
The closure of schools and colleges and the cancellation of the summer exam series has been just as unsettling for teachers and exams officers as it has for students and parents. We'd like to thank you all for the hard work you've done over the past few months to get the Centre Assessment Grades and rank orders submitted to us so we can ensure learners receive grades that are accurate and fair so that they are able progress.
We’ll be providing you with information and support in the lead up to results day and beyond so you can be sure you have all the information you need to help your students take their next steps. This page will be updated regularly to provide guidance and help answer your questions.
We've also created a Student support page to help students understand how their results will be calculated this year and answer their most frequently asked questions. This includes a letter to students from Sharon Hague, Senior Vice President for Schools at Pearson, providing information about how grades will be calculated, results days and next steps. Please do share this information with your students.
Understanding how grades will be awarded in summer 2020
This summer UK exam boards will be using a statistical model developed by Ofqual to standardise the Centre Assessment Grades and rank orders submitted by schools and colleges for GCSEs, AS and A levels. To help you understand this process, we've created a simple visual guide showing what happens between the grades being submitted and the results being issued.
The FAQs on this web page will provide you with support to understand how GCSE, International GCSE, AS/A level, International A level, iPrimary and iLowerSecondary results will be calculated this year.
To find out more about how BTEC and vocational grades will be calculated please visit the relevant FAQ page.
We have a number of resources available on our website that may be helpful for you and your schools.
All schools and colleges with entries provided exam boards with Centre Assessment Grades this year in the absence of exams.
The Centre Assessment Grades and rank orders contained teachers’ professional judgements of the most likely grades students would have achieved, had they taken their exams.
Exam boards will use a statistical model (PDF), developed by Ofqual, to standardise centres outcomes. To arrive at the final outcomes the model will look at prior centre performance, prior candidate performance this year compared to previous years and outcomes for the qualification at a national level.
If adjustments need to be made, either up or down, they will take place through the standardisation process.
This standardisation is important as it makes the process as fair as it can be, by ensuring the same grading standards are applied for all schools and colleges and that grades remain comparable from one year to the next.
You cannot share the centre assessment grade and rank order before results day. This is to protect the integrity of the process.
Any inappropriate disclosure will be investigated by exam boards as potential malpractice.
Results days this year will still be as follows:
- Level 3 Qualifications - AS/A Levels and International A Levels – 13 August 2020
- Level 2 Qualifications – GCSEs and International GCSEs – 20 August 2020
- iPrimary and iLowerSecondary (international students) - 20 August 2020
Results will be released to centres 24 hours before release to students.
As a result of the changes to examinations this summer we have re-issued UK and International basedata for DiDA, Project, GCE/IAL and GCSE/IG qualifications.
If you use EDI and have entries for the qualifications below, please ensure your MIS systems are up to date with the latest version of basedata before results are issued in August, which can be downloaded from the support page - Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and Basedata
As there have been no exams sat this year the usual reports and broadsheets will look slightly different this year as they will only contain the outcome and not any component scores.
As there were no exams sat in the summer this year, there will not be any grade boundaries generated.
What isn't available this series?
As there are no exams being sat this year there will not be any of the following:
- Grade boundaries
- Examiner reports
- Access to Scripts
- Enquiries about results
Ofqual have now confirmed that students cannot challenge their individual centre assessment grades this year, as any appeal would have to be undertaken by someone better placed than your teachers to judge your likely grade if exams had taken place. In the unique circumstances of this summer, Ofqual do not believe there is any such person. However, if you or others have concerns about bias, discrimination or any other factor that suggests that a centre did not behave with care or integrity when determining the centre assessment grade and/or rank order information then these should be raised with your centre first.
Ofqual has stated that a centre may appeal to the exam board if it believes the centre itself made an error when submitting a centre assessment grade or rank order information.
Or, similarly, if a centre believes an exam board made a mistake when calculating, assigning or communicating a grade. This could include the wrong prior attainment or demographic information being used for the purposes of standardisation. We are working on how we will share this information and will let you know when more is confirmed.
Ofqual has stated that if students or others have concerns about bias, discrimination or any other factor that suggests that a centre did not behave with care or integrity when determining the centre assessment grade and/or rank order information they should normally raise these concerns with their centre, in the first instance.
In some cases, where there is evidence of serious malpractice on the part of the centre, it may be appropriate to bring those concerns directly to the exam board in the first instance.
Where there is evidence, Ofqual require exam boards to investigate allegations as potential malpractice or maladministration.
Such allegations would be very serious, and are expected to be rare, but this is an important safeguard for students and their overall confidence in this year’s grading arrangements.
Future assessment opportunities
If a student is unhappy with their result or appeal outcome, they will be able to sit the exam in an exam series being run in Autumn this year. GCSE, AS and A level, International GCSE and International A level subjects that would have been offered in the summer 2020 examinations will be offered this autumn. The aim is for AS and A levels, International AS and A levels and iPrimary and iLowerSecondary to be held in October and GCSEs and International GCSEs in November.
For GCSE, AS and A level, students who had entries for the summer 2020 series OR students and centres that can prove there was an intention to sit an examination in summer 2020.
For iPrimary, iLowerSecondary, International GCSE and International AS and A level, all students using international qualifications, including new entries, deferrals and students wanting to resit from any previous exam series, including the May and June 2020 series, subject to demand. More detail on the international autumn series.
Yes, results this year are as equally valid as any other previous year and will allow students to move on to their next steps.
We hope that many students will be happy with the outcomes they receive. Whilst individual students cannot appeal their individual grades they should speak with their centre or us and we will try to support them. Students can contact us through the support portal.
They may also wish to resit the exam in the autumn series.
Yes, results this year are as equally valid as any other previous year. Everybody is aware of the circumstances this year and has been asked to think flexibly to support learners. We encourage students to contact their college or university to discuss their individual circumstances to try and reach an outcome. More support can be found on the UCAS website for university applications
No decisions have been confirmed at this stage. Ofqual have released a consultation about the 2021 assessments.
The consultation and the opportunity to respond can be found at Proposed changes to the assessment of GCSEs, AS and A levels in 2021