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GCSE grades and how they were calculated

Ofqual had consulted on and implemented a standardisation process for exam results this summer, but the system has resulted in too many inconsistent and unfair outcomes for students. Over the last few days, it became clear that the algorithm revealed a number of anomalies that had not been anticipated by Ofqual and which severely undermined confidence in the system.

Subsequently, the Government and Ofqual have jointly agreed to revert to Centre Assessed Grades, which are the grades which schools and colleges assessed students were most likely to have achieved, had exams gone ahead. This was deemed to be the fairest approach to avoid some students receiving grades that did not reflect their prior performance.

Your final GCSE grades have been calculated using Centre Assessed Grades (CAGs) which are grades which schools assessed that students were most likely to achieve had they sat examinations in 2020.  A very small number of CAGs have been adjusted by the exam boards and your final GCSE grade is the highest of your CAG or moderated grade.

CAGs were calculated internally using a range of data and information from throughout your course to date.  This included; mock examinations, in class assessments, coursework/NEA tasks and other formal assessment materials. This data was used to create a raw score and rank order within an identified grade boundary using the existing examination board criteria. All raw scores and rank orders were subject to a rigorous internal standardisation process overseen by subject leaders and senior staff. This process was then ratified by staff at central Trust level.

Please do not contact any of your teachers about your Centre Assessed Grades, they will not be able to help you. 

Vocational Qualifications

NB: at 4:30pm yesterday (Wednesday 19th August 2020), all schools received a communication from Pearson, the examination Board with responsibility for BTEC and Tech Awards, that they need to review all grades for these subjects across the country. They have instructed all schools that no grades for BTEC and Tech Awards are to be issued. We can only apologise on their behalf for such a late decision. We share in your frustration and will update you as soon as we hear more.

Centre Assessed Grades

If you wish to receive a copy of your CAGs and/or rankings then please e-mail Linda.Briers@tda.education.

Appeals

If you do not feel that your GCSE grades reflect your performance, we have been led to believe that there will be an appeals process, but we are awaiting further information.  We will be in contact with you with further detail when it is made available to us, so please do not contact us about appeals at this point.

If you have any concerns about your results, please contact linda.briers@tda.education  in the first instance and they will pass your concern on to the most relevant person.

Autumn exam series

You may be considering trying to improve your grade this autumn in one or more subjects.  GCSE exams will be held between 2nd-23rd November.  Before you make this decision, you should consider very carefully whether you can improve on your summer grades.

  • Exams papers will be the same number and format for each subject as the summer 2020 exams, had they not been cancelled. 
  • Results for the autumn exams will be based solely on exam performance and you have not had any formal teaching since March.
  • There will be no teacher support/revision lessons provided for the autumn exams.
  • Do you need a higher grade in a particular subject for 6TH form/college?  Some may accept your centre assessed grade, if higher, have you contacted them for advice?

If you still wish to do an autumn exam, all entries will be as a private candidate; you will therefore have to pay the entry fee as set by the exam board.

The deadline date to receive GCSE Autumn entry requests and fees is Monday 14th September 2020.  The exam boards can withdraw offering any subject exams where entries are not received by their deadline date so I will be unable to accept any requests for entries after the 14th September. 

If you wish to submit an entry please email the Exams Office stating which exams you wish to be entered for, you will then be sent an entry form and confirmation of the fee.

Extra advice and support

The National Careers Service has also set an exam results helpline during August 2020. Young people or their parents can contact the helpline on 0800 100 900 to speak to a professionally qualified careers adviser if they need advice on their next steps. The helpline will be open from 8am to 10pm from Thursday 13 August until Friday 28 August. After these dates, you will be able to access ongoing support from the National Careers Service at any time by calling 0800 100 900, visiting nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/contact-us or searching for the National Careers Service on Facebook and Twitter.