Awarding grades and qualifications in summer 2020

All exams due to take place in summer 2020 have been cancelled by the government as part of the national effort to reduce the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19).

However, qualifications and grades will still be awarded this year.

Ofqual and awarding bodies are designing a system that will ensure that learners are given the fairest grade possible in this highly unusual situation.

They are in close dialogue with schools and colleges to ensure that the results are robust and equitable. Teacher predictions will be just one of a number of metrics used, based on national data sets. The government have also promised an extra exam window in the 2020/21 academic year, so that anyone wishing to take the exams will be given an opportunity to do so as soon as it is safe.

You can see Ofqual’s official statement here. Whilst we understand that this will be an extremely anxious time for our learners and their loved ones, we do not know anything beyond this official statement at the moment.

However, we want to assure you that Exeter College will make sure our students are treated fairly by this process. The mention of practice examinations has led to some concern from our learners that they will be automatically awarded their mock grade. This is not the case. Ofqual have assured us that teachers will be have the opportunity to apply their professional judgement using not just previous performance, but, crucially, their knowledge of the individual and how students usually progress in their subject over time.

We will be asked therefore for a judgement on how a learner would have performed if they had the opportunity to complete the year and continue to improve, not for a snapshot of where they had reached when the disruption began. It is therefore vital that students continue to work towards and submit outstanding assignments and work as directed by their teachers via email.

The commitment from Ofqual is that they will generate a grade profile that is indistinguishable from those provided in other years.

As soon as we have more detail about how this system will work for individual qualifications, we will let you know. Latest information will be posted on this page, and we will alert students and parents/guardians via email of any crucial updates.

We hope that you understand that in order for us to comply with the need for this system to be robust as well as fair, individual teachers cannot be in dialogue with students and parents about this. The best thing that our learners can do at the moment is to continue to engage with their studies through the online distance learning support our teachers are providing. In this manner we hope to best serve them, not just for official grades, but for their skills for their future ambitions.