Students told how exams markings will be decided

Students on the Isle of Wight who were facing exams in the coming months can breathe a sigh of relief, now Ofqual have announced how exams will be marked.

Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson MP, cancelled end-of-year GCSEs, AS and A levels as well as other qualifications, in an ‘unprecedented step’ to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Mr Williamson said: “My priority now is to ensure no young person faces a barrier when it comes to moving onto the next stage of their lives, whether that’s further or higher education, an apprenticeship or a job.”

Now, the Office of Qualifications and Exam Regulations (Ofqual), has revealed the way grades will be calculated.

Grades will be determined through two pieces of information sent from schools or colleges, a student’s predicted grade if teaching, learning and exams had gone ahead as planned and, within each subject, a rank order of students by predicted grades in each school.

A range of work will be considered to work out predicted grades, including class and homework, results in assignments and any mock exams as well as general progress made during the course.

There is no requirement in the grading for new work to be set for students or for work to be included in the marking if it was set or completed after schools were closed on March 20.

Ofqual has said grades will not need to be submitted before May 29 and centres will have at least two weeks in which to submit the data.

Along with exam boards, Ofqual will standardise grades and judgements across the board, with the hope to publish grades when they are expected in August, if not a little earlier, so students can have the ‘certainty they need’.

Students who feel their grades from the summer do not reflect their ability will have the opportunity to take their exams in the autumn or in summer 2021 — if they choose to do this, both grades will stand.

In a letter to students, Sally Collier, chief regulator of Ofqual, said the aim of the new measures was to be fair to students and to make sure they were not disadvantaged in their progress because of the unprecedented conditions.

She said: “Please be reassured the grades you get this summer will look exactly the same as in previous years, and they will have equal status with universities, colleges and employers, to help you move forward in your lives as planned.”

Teachers and schools will not be allowed to share with students the grades they have sent to Ofqual.