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Following the significant rise in infections and the pressure on the NHS the government took the decision to put the country into lockdown at the start of January 2021. At this time the government also announced that summer examinations at GCSE and A-level would not take place in the normal way. Instead they would be replaced by a form of teacher assessed grades that will be used to award grades for students completing courses in summer 2021.

An Ofqual consultation has recently closed (Friday 29th January) which is considering how teacher assessed grades will specifically work this year. We expect the outcome of the consultation to be announced in the next two weeks. At that point we will have greater clarity on the approach and timeline for awarding grades this year.

The consultation has sought views on a range of areas, which gives some indication of what will happen. Whilst the following have not been confirmed there is a good possibility that:

  • Teachers assessed grades will replace grades that are normally determined by the sitting of final exams and that achieved through coursework.
  • These grades will be based on the standard at which students are working at and have demonstrated. It should reflect a wide range of work and evidence.
  • There are likely to be shared assessment materials provided to schools to support the teacher assessment of grades and add to what teachers already know about their students.
  • The deadline for schools for the teacher assessed grades will be around the middle of June.
  • The consultation is seeking views on results being issued to students in July.

What does this mean for students? 

  • All students need to continue to work hard and complete their courses up to the end of the year, at least up to and including June.
  • Teachers will continue to set work for all students and assess their progress in an ongoing way.
  • Students should use the feedback from teachers to make progress and improveTeachers will use the criteria for each course to support students to understand how to improve and make progress. Teachers will not grade work as it happens over the next few months.
  • Teachers will only assess a final grade at the end of the course. Students should focus on working hard and using feedback to continue to improve and not on accumulating grades.

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