Following the cancellation of all summer exams, the education sector has been working hard to provide a fair and accurate grading system for students.
Students studying GCSE, A-Level and BTEC courses will still receive their results on the planned results days in August, however due to the pandemic and cancellation of exams, grades this year have been calculated by schools and colleges.
Grades have been based on evidence such as assessments, coursework, homework and performance in class. Schools and colleges then had to rank students in order within each grade in a subject. The calculated ‘centre assessment’ grade is part of a robust process involving at least two teachers and a headmaster or college principal confirming it as a true representation.
The grades are sent to exam boards where they are standardised using a statistical model developed by Ofqual (The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation). The standardisation model is designed to adjust for different interpretations of the standards by different centres and ensures grades awarded this year are consistent with those awarded to other cohorts in other years. The results may not reflect the centre assessment grade submitted by the school or college.
Education Partnership North East is one of the largest college groups in the country. It includes Sunderland College, Hartlepool Sixth Form and Northumberland College. The college group has approximately 369 A-Level students and 1,392 BTEC students, who will be receiving their results next Thursday.
Ellen Thinnesen, Chief Executive of Education Partnership North East, said:
“With the suspension of face-to-face teaching for most students and summer exams being cancelled, it’s been an unsettling year for students. The sector is working together this summer to make sure that this year’s grading is as fair as possible and to enable students to progress to their next steps.
“Our teaching staff know their students well and have been working very hard to accurately calculate grades for their students based on what they would have achieved if they had sat an exam. The grades that have been submitted to the exam boards were part of a rigorous internal quality process involving several members of staff.”
The college group recognises that it is an anxious time for some students and that they may need support. Ellen continues:
“Across Education Partnership North East, we will be supporting our students on results day with a virtual support clinic via live chat and a dedicated results day helpline. We are proud of everything that our students have achieved this year and wish them only the best for their future.”
The grades that students receive this year will carry the same value as any other year. Although they have been awarded differently, they will look the same as previous years on results slips and certificates and will be treated the same by employers, colleges and universities.
Results day for AS and A-Levels (and equivalent Level 3 qualifications) is Thursday 13th August 2020 and GCSEs (and equivalent Level 1 and Level 2 qualifications) is Thursday 20th August 2020.
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