Update from Pearson following the Ofqual announcement on 2020 results

17 August 2020

Update following government announcement on using Centre Assessment Grades for AS, A level, GCSE, Extended Project Qualification and Advanced Extension Award in maths results

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We know this has been a particularly difficult and stressful time for you and your students. We understand parents, teachers and students will want to know more about the announcement by Ofqual at 4pm this afternoon which confirmed their decision to award A level, GCSE, Extended Project Qualification and Advanced Extension Award in maths grades on the basis of the Centre Assessment Grades submitted. Our teams are working around the clock with the Department for Education and Ofqual to ensure that we are able to issue any revised grades to students as soon as possible. We will work as quickly as we can, and our priority is to ensure that students are able to progress on to the next steps in their education and careers.

Ofqual have decided that students are awarded their Centre Assessment Grade for this summer - that is, the grade their school or college estimated was the grade they would most likely have achieved in their exam. If the standardised grade is higher than the Centre Assessment Grade, then this grade will stand so the student is awarded the higher grade.

If you are a UK independent school using our International GCSE or an international school using iPrimary, iLowerSecondary, International GCSE and International AS/A Levels, we would also like to confirm that we will be following the same approach and will award grades on the basis of what you submitted as the Centre Assessment Grades.

As we work to issue any revised grades for AS/A level and International AS/A Level and release these to you, we will need to implement an embargo ahead of the new results being released. This will be from 00.01 Tuesday 18 August 2020. Once the embargo is in place, you will be unable to see any existing calculated grades that are in the system for the Level 3 qualifications mentioned above.

We are aware that you may also deliver BTECs in your school. BTECs are structured very differently to A levels, and so the approach to awarding is also different. BTECs were not subject to the same statistical moderation process as A levels.

BTECs comprise modular units that students complete and are assessed at regular stages during their course of study so, prior to March 2020, students had already banked graded units for their qualification. As we do every year, this year we asked centres to submit all the grades for the internal assessment units that had been completed as well as any grades for units still to be completed. These were accepted with very little change following quality-assurance checks. They then formed part of the evidence, alongside previously completed assessment unit grades, to award grades for the externally assessed units and the final overall qualification grade.

For the very small number of grades that were adjusted, we will be reviewing them on a case-by-case basis with centres following the same principles as those announced today. We have seen very stable outcomes for BTEC and other vocational qualifications. As in every year, students unhappy with their final grade can appeal.

As always, I will keep you updated with the results dates for iPrimary, iLowerSecondary, GCSE, International GCSE, A Level, International A Level, Extended Project Qualification and Advanced Extension Award in maths and any further changes that may occur following this announcement today. We will post the latest information on our website. We remain committed to supporting you through this time and as you head towards the new academic year. Please follow us on Twitter @PearsonEdexcel to keep up to date with the latest news and support available to you. Should you have any queries please do contact us.

I’d like to thank you, as always, for your close collaboration, understanding and patience with us at this complex time.

Best wishes,

Sharon Hague

SVP UK Schools

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