GCE A-level and GCSE: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 21st July 2020.

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Photo of Rosena Allin-Khan Rosena Allin-Khan Shadow Minister (Mental Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that (a) GCSE and (b) A-level pupils who were unable to sit exams are not unfairly penalised by not having the opportunity to improve on their predicted grades before schools were closed due to the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

Our priority is to ensure that this year’s grading is as fair as possible, given the exceptional circumstances, so that students can progress to the next stage of their education or training.

For students who were due to sit GCSE, AS level or A level exams this summer, schools and colleges have provided a centre assessment grade for each subject - the grade they believe their students would have most likely achieved had they been able to sit the exam. Ofqual published guidance on awarding GCSE, AS and A levels which explained to schools and colleges how to do this fairly and robustly, drawing on a range of evidence to reach a judgement. This includes any non-exam assessment that students had already completed; the results of any homework or mock exams; and any other records of student performance over the course of study. This could include predicted grades for university applications but centre assessment grades are not the same as predicted grades.

To make sure that grades are awarded fairly between schools and colleges, exam boards are putting all centre assessment grades through a process of standardisation using a model developed by Ofqual.

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