- Ministers in London move to address concerns about how GCSE and A-Level results have been awarded.
- The move is in response to the u-turn announced in Scotland, that unfairly reduced results for pupils from more disadvantaged backgrounds.
- Now, for students in England, pupils can apply to have their mock exam grade awarded, or attend an autumn exam.
- Minister says: This triple lock system will help provide reassurance to students and ensure they are able to progress with the next stage of their lives.
- Worries will still evident for students and their parents about attending the next stage of their education based on the initial results.
Following the u-turn and outcry over exam results in Scotland, UK Ministers have announced an extraordinary move to prevent criticism on how GCSE and A-Level scores in England have been awarded.
Under an urgent revision, the UK government has now announced that students could receive the higher result out of their calculated grade, valid mock grade, or autumn exam grade to ‘bolster fairness’.
Ofqual has been asked to determine how and when valid mock results can be used to calculate grades.
All outcomes will hold the same value for universities, colleges and employers, building on the significant number of students who will still progress as a result of their calculated grades. Similar arrangements will apply to vocational and technical qualifications.
The move comes as the Government also announces an extensive support package for all schools, colleges and further education providers to run a full exam series in the autumn.
Reacting to pressure from his cabinet colleagues, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
Every young person waiting for their results wants to know they have been treated fairly. By ensuring students have the safety net of their mock results, as well as the chance of sitting autumn exams, we are creating a triple lock process to ensure confidence and fairness in the system.
No one wanted to cancel exams – they are the best form of assessment, but the disruption caused by Covid-19 meant they were not possible.
This triple lock system will help provide reassurance to students and ensure they are able to progress with the next stage of their lives.
The move might quell immediate initial concerns, but worries will still be evident for students and their parents about attending the next stage of their education. It is hoped that colleges and universities will show some grade flexibility in the offers that were made before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Any appeals for awarding different grades must be made by schools directly.
The Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) in Northern Ireland said it would ensure that GCSE, A and AS level standards were maintained. Schools can use mock exam results and some completed units of GCSEs in appeals if they felt a pupil had been given the wrong grade.