Summer Exam Judgements

The information below currently only relates to pupils who would have sat GCSE or A Level exams this summer, and those who would have been submitting their EPQ this summer.  Details of our process for making judgements on BTEC and City & Guilds qualifications will be published after we have received further information from Ofqual and the exam boards.

We are being asked, no earlier than May 29, to supply to the exam boards “centre assessment grades” for every pupil for every subject, and then to rank the pupils for each exam grade for each subject.  The exam boards will then use this information to calculate the final grades for every pupil.

The “centre assessment grades” and the ranking that we are producing will not be shared with pupils or parents before the final publication of exam results this summer, and this is an Ofqual requirement.

In order to formulate both the centre assessment grades and the rank of pupils within each grade, we will be using a combination of the following information available to us, as suggested by the Ofqual guidance:

  • Records of each pupil’s performance over the course of study (which extends until the Summer half term, as it would in normal circumstances), including teacher marks, report grades, participation in classwork, and participation in performances (e.g. for music, drama, PE)
  • Performance on any non-exam assessment (NEA)
  • Records of previous entries to the same examination (e.g. for re-sit candidates)
  • For pupils who took an AS in 2019, their AS results in that subject
  • Performance on any class of homework assessments and mock exams taken over the course of study (which extends until the Summer half term, as it would in normal circumstances)
  • Baseline grades

We have to ensure that the grades we award are in line with year-on-year results, contextualized by the baseline grades of the pupils.

Where disabled pupils have an agreed reasonable adjustment (for example a reader or scribe), or other pupils have an agreed access arrangement, the judgement will take account of likely achievement with the reasonable adjustment/access arrangement in place. Special consideration requests, in the event that a pupil is unable to take an assessment or suffers a traumatic event that might affect their performance, will not apply this summer. Instead judgements will reflect how the pupils would have performed under ordinary circumstances. Where illness or other personal circumstances might have affected performance in mock exams, we will bear that in mind when making our judgements.

Although the Ofqual guidance suggests there is no requirement to set additional assessment tasks to determine a centre assessment grade, we want to ensure that we give all pupils the chance to complete work during remote learning that could enhance both their grade and their ranking within that grade.  The course of study in Years 11 and 13 at Sedbergh has always extended until at least the summer half term, and with our plans for remote learning we can ensure that this continues as close to normal as possible so that no pupil is disadvantaged in this respect.  We expect all pupils to continue working in their subjects up until summer half term for Years 11 and 13.  We feel this is the best way to ensure our judgements are as fair and as accurate as possible.

Ofqual is very clear to back up our position that these centre assessment grades are not the same as any grades we have previously published, including:

  • Projected grades on reports
  • Target grades
  • Predicted UCAS grades in support of university applications

Under the circumstances, the normal arrangements for reviews of marking and appeals will not apply. Ofqual are considering what arrangements might be put in place to allow an effective appeal and will consult on proposals shortly.

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

Year 13 parent: “Our son has been reassured about his A level situation by being able to have meetings on screen with his teachers and tutor.”

Year 11 parent: “Thank you for all your are doing to support our son in his GCSEs during these difficult times, we feel that your process is fair and should give him the best chance of achieving the grades he deserves.”