UPDATE on GCSE, A Level and BTEC

As you know, the Secretary of State for Education announced last week that summer examinations were cancelled and teacher assessment will determine students’ results this year.  The Department for Education also announced yesterday that the scheduled exam assessments for vocational and technical qualifications, including BTEC Level 2 Awards, will not take place in February or March this year.  Students due to sit vocational examinations in January can continue to take these as scheduled. 

The Department for Education has informed schools that a consultation on the arrangements to award qualifications this year is due to commence shortly.  You may have read in the news that the Secretary of State for Education has written a letter to the exams regulator, Ofqual, with details on what should be considered in this consultation.  This includes whether external tasks/assessments should help teachers determine grades.  The letter also mentions that, ‘a breadth of evidence should inform teachers' judgments’, and that an algorithm will not be used to determine grades this year.  The view was also expressed that final judgements should be made as late as possible in the academic year to maximise teaching time.     

I would like to thank you for your patience and forbearance.  We appreciate that there will be lots of questions and that students may well be anxious or concerned.   Despite the reports and speculation, it is only after the consultation is completed that we will get clarity on the actual arrangements for determining grades this year.  When we do, we will ensure this is communicated clearly and comprehensively to students and parents/carers, including through assembly-style presentations to year 11, 12 and 13 (virtually if required). 

In the meantime, my colleagues will do all they can to help, support and advise students at this time.  It is very important that year 11, 12 and 13 students stay completely focused on their work and assessments in all subjects.  Although we informed year 11 students and parents/carers last week that their PPEs were postponed, with a view to re-scheduling later in this academic year, we will carry on as normal as best as we can, including with our plans for intervention and support.