Exam grades 2021 student information
JCQ have produced a guidance document particularly aimed at students, parents and guardians with key information about the grading process for 2021. It can be found at this link.
Ofqual have also produced a “Student guide to awarding: Summer 2021” that can be accessed through this link.
How will I be assessed?
Teachers will initially determine your grades, which will then be reviewed by Heads of Faculty and a member of the Senior Leadership team. The professional judgement of teachers will only be based on what you have been taught and your teachers will use a range of evidence from across your course to make their decision. This evidence can include mock exam results, classwork, teacher assessments and any coursework (NEAs). Teachers may also use the additional Grade Descriptors provided by the exam boards if there is uncertainty about the most appropriate grade.
The school has submitted a centre policy to JCQ and it has been approved with no amendments. The policy can be viewed here [link to attached pdf]
- In the Appeals section (after it says “A summary flowchart for the Appeals process can be found on page 8 of the JCQ guidance for students, parents and guardians using this link.” Can you add “The DfE has produced a webpage covering the key questions concerning appeals and it can be found here”
Reasonable adjustments, access arrangements and special consideration
Teachers will take into account if you have special educational needs, and/or are disabled, and require reasonable adjustments, when determining your grade. Special consideration requests will not apply in the usual way this summer because you will not be taking exams.
The school has looked at any students that may have been affected by any extreme circumstances this year (eg prolonged periods of covid-related self-isolation) and teachers will take these into account when confirming the Teacher-Assessed grade.
If you think that your performance in an assessment has been affected by illness or personal circumstances, you should talk to your teachers about this as soon as possible. It is important that you raise any such instances before the school submits your grade. If you have any questions about how your personal circumstances will be taken into account or want to raise anything with the school, now is the best time to speak to us. You should not wait until after you get your results.
GCSE students will receive their results on Thursday 12 August 2021.
If you believe an error has been made in determining your grade, you will have a right to appeal. There are two stages to the appeals process and it is important to remember that your grade can go down, up or stay the same through either stage of the process. A summary flowchart for the Appeals process can be found on page 8 of the JCQ guidance for students, parents and guardians using this link.
Stage 1 review: Centre Review
If you don’t think you have been issued with the correct grade, you can appeal to the school, who will review whether they:
- made an administrative error, e.g. they submitted an incorrect grade or they used an incorrect assessment mark when determining your grade
- did not apply a procedure correctly, e.g. they did not follow their Centre Policy, did not undertake internal quality assurance, did not take account of access arrangements or mitigating circumstances, such as illness.
Stage 2 review: Appeal to the Exam Board
If you still don’t think you have the correct grade after the centre review is complete, you can ask the school to appeal to the exam board, who will review whether
- the school made an unreasonable exercise of academic judgement in the choice of evidence from which they determined your grade and/or in the determination of your grade from that evidence. A reasonable judgement is one that is supported by evidence. An exercise of judgement will not be unreasonable simply because a student considers that an alternative grade should have been awarded, even if the student puts forward supporting evidence. There may be a difference of opinion without there being an unreasonable exercise of judgement. The reviewer will not remark individual assessments to make fine judgements but will take a holistic approach based on the overall evidence
- the school did not apply a procedure correctly, e.g. they did not follow their Centre Policy, did not undertake internal quality assurance, did not take account of access arrangements or mitigating circumstances, such as illness.
- the exam board made an administrative error, e.g. they changed your grade during the processing of grades.
At both stages of the process, you will need to submit your appeal to your school or college and give them your written consent to conduct the appeal or submit it to the exam board on your behalf. It’s important to remember that your grade can go down, up or stay the same through either stage of the process.
The timelines for appeals will be as follows:
- 12 August to 16 August: student requests centre review
- 12 August to 20 August: centre conducts centre review
- 13 August to 23 August: centre submits appeal to exam board (if required)
The DfE carried out a consultation during April 2021 on how resits could work if required. The conclusions were:
- Any student who receives a teacher-assessed grade (TAG) this summer can take the corresponding GCSE exams in autumn 2021.
- We will require the exam boards to offer exams in all GCSE subjects.
- The exams will be in their normal format, with no adaptations being made. Reasonable adjustments will be made for disabled students.
- Except for art and design qualifications, grades will be determined by students’ performance in the exams only – there will be no non-exam assessments. For art and design qualifications, grades will be determined by students’ performance in a task set and marked by the exam board.
- GCSE ‘resit’ exams will be in November and December. It is expected that the post-16 provider will offer GCSE English language and GCSE maths exams and other subjects would be at Woodbrook Vale.
- An exam board must issue a replacement certificate to a student showing the higher of an autumn 2021 or summer 2021 grade in response to a request from that student.
We will share any further detail we receive around ‘resits’ as soon as they are confirmed by DfE.