Summer 2021 support

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.

Non-exam assessment (NEA)

The consultation outcomes stated that students were encouraged to continue with and complete any non-exam assessment (NEA), but confirmed that learners who are unable to complete their NEA will not be penalised.

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

  • Performance assessment: Students to perform one or more pieces of music with a combined duration of at least 1.5 minutes (if all solo performance) or 2 minutes (if including performance as part of an ensemble). No requirement to perform as part of an ensemble.
  • Composition assessment: Students to compose one or more pieces of music with a combined duration of at least 2 minutes

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. You can also access our support Overview Document which brings together all the resources you need to support your grading decisions.