The Department for Education (DfE) and Ofqual have confirmed their approach for issuing grades in summer 2021:

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  • Exams will not go ahead as planned
  • A teacher-assessed grades approach will be used for all UK-regulated qualifications, including GCSE, AS and A level, AEA and Projects
  • Judgements will be quality-assured by awarding organisations
  • Teachers will collate a ‘basket of evidence’ for pupils expecting to receive a grade this summer
  • Students will be able to appeal their grades.

The consultation also confirmed that students will only be assessed on the content that they have been taught, and that there will not be a requirement to assess a minimum proportion of the course content.

For A level art & design, which is wholly assessed by NEA, students’ grades will be based on their portfolio only; students should not be penalised if, due to circumstances beyond their control, they were unable to complete their portfolio.

Non-exam assessment (NEA)

The consultation outcomes stated that students were encouraged to continue with and complete any non-exam assessment (NEA).

The changes which were already made to the assessment and delivery of the NEA for 2021 are still valid.

  • The externally set assignment Component 2 has been removed from the series, increasing the weighting of component 1 to 100% of the qualification.

NEA completed for 2021 will not be externally moderated.


We will be supporting you and your students every step of the way with the 2021 summer arrangements. The summer 2021 assessment materials for centres are now available via the link above.