Response to the Secretary of State’s announcement of 12 August 2020
Ofqual responds to the statement by the Secretary of State for Education about 2020 GCSE, AS and A level results.
Ofqual understand this has been an incredibly difficult time for students, who have not had the chance to prove their knowledge and skills in exams.
The approach we have developed with exam boards and assessment experts for awarding GCSEs, AS and A levels is the fairest way of giving students an opportunity to move on in the unprecedented circumstances this year, with grades which carry value.
Every grade students receive tomorrow has been based on teachers’ judgements – either wholly, or in combination with the statistics. For example, where adjustments were needed, students were moved up or down according to the centres’ views as to which students were closest to the grade boundary.
The vast majority of the grades students receive will be the same as, or within one grade of, their centre’s grade. Adjustments were only made where necessary to bring consistency to the standards between schools and colleges. However, that moderation was essential to create a level playing for students.
The system in place will give students the best estimate of the grade they would have achieved if exams had gone ahead and ensures they are not held back in their lives, despite the cancellation of exams. However, Ofqual recognise that any process for calculating grades may produce results that need to be reviewed, which is why Ofqual have put in place an appeals process. We believe this process is the fairest for all students in the circumstances.
However, Ofqual understand why the government has wanted to provide some additional assurance for students, by confirming that evidence from valid mock exams can be considered as part of an appeal. Ofqual are working urgently to operationalise this as fairly as possible and to determine what standards of evidence will be required for the appeal. Ofqual will provide more detail early next week.
Ofqual will continue to do everything possible to ensure students achieve grades that are as fair as possible in the circumstances this summer.