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Teacher-Assessed Exam Results Will Be Issued Earlier

GCSE and A Level students will get their exam results earlier this summer to give them more time to appeal.

The UK Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced in January that exams would be scrapped this summer due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

That decision applies to Channel Islands students because the same exam boards are used here.

Now more details have been given on how the revised assessment process will work for results this summer.

  • A-level students will get their results on 10 August, while GCSE pupils will get their grades on 12 August. These earlier dates will allow more time for students to appeal their grades, if they believe they are unfair.
  • Pupils will be able to appeal their grades at no additional cost and will have the chance to sit exams in the autumn if they are still unhappy with their marks.
  • Teachers will be provided with optional assessment questions for students to answer in order to help them decide what grades should be awarded. However, the assessments are not expected to take place under exam conditions. Teachers will have the flexibility to choose how long students will have to complete the task and where it will be carried out.
  • Teachers will be able to base students' grades on a range of evidence, including mock exams, coursework, essays and in-class tests.
  • Grades will have to be submitted to exam boards by 18 June, with quality assurance checks then taking place.
  • Teachers will be given guidance on how to make judgments before the Easter holidays.
  • Those studying for vocational and technical qualifications will also get teacher-assessed grades rather than having to sit exams.

There was controversy last summer when an algorithm downgraded the results of thousands of students, before it was eventually scrapped.

This time round however, exams regulator Ofqual will not use an algorithm to standardise estimated grades if they appear to be more generous than they should be.

According to the UK Department for Education, schools and colleges will conduct numerous checks to ensure their grade estimates are as fair as possible, along with the exam boards.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the school leaders' union NAHT, said the arrangements "appear to chart a path which avoids the awful chaos of last year".

"This set of decisions is, however, only the starting point. It is now down to the awarding bodies to provide the detail which schools and colleges need to implement the process.

"Although earlier results for students seeking to start university could be beneficial, cramming GCSE results into the same week will place unnecessary pressure on to the system."

Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, also gave a cautious welcome to the plans.

"However, there are still question marks over how it is expected that the extra work necessary to facilitate grading will be dealt with."

"Substantial time will need to be set aside for the initial assessments and gradings and then the internal school moderation processes.

"It may well be that extra staff need to be employed to release teachers for this important work."

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