The exams watchdog Ofqual has today confirmed that grades decided by teachers will replace the cancelled GCSE and A-level exams. Schools can determine grades this summer using a combination of mock exams, coursework and essays. There will be test papers set by exam boards for each subject, which are intended to inform the judgement of teachers, but will not decide the final grades. These mini-tests will be optional for schools to use. Ofqual says the tests should not be seen as exams which decide the students’ grades. These mini-tests will be sent to schools before the Easter holidays and can be taken before Friday 18th June, when schools have to submit grades to exam boards.
If students are unhappy at the outcome of what their school and teachers have decided, they can appeal, with no financial charge expected. A-level results day will be Tuesday 10th August, with GCSEs results given out on Thursday 12th August.
There will be no fixed share of grades – and schools will not be expected to keep in line with last year’s results or any earlier year. Instead teachers will be expected to award grades based on their professional judgement, drawing on whatever evidence is available. Exam boards will check random samples and if there are specific concerns about unusual results, they can investigate and change grades. Ways of achieving consistency among schools and teachers have not yet been addressed.