With memories of the problems with last year’s exam results still fresh in many people’s minds, the DfE has been quick to announce how they will manage assessments, grades and results in 2021.
For Maths GCSE and A-Level Maths, your child’s teachers is now responsible for deciding how your child will be graded. This will be judged on performance across the year, rather than the just the summer term. Assessment will be made on the topics and subjects pupils were taught either in-class or online, not the work they missed during the school closures.
Teachers will draw on mock exams, coursework and other class work to identify the grade. Additionally, exam boards will provide assessment questions for students to answer, further helping teachers determine the appropriate grade.
This year no algorithms will be used to standardise the grades. Teachers will submit their grades to the relevant exam boards by the 18th of June. The exam boards will then carry out quality assurance checks through random sampling and targeted scrutiny.
Usually, students receive their results in August; however, this summer, A-level and GCSE students will be given their results earlier. The earlier date will provide students with more time to submit appeals which should mean that they do not miss out on a place at their preferred university.
Every student has the right to appeal their grade, they will not have to pay any additional costs should they choose to. If pupils and families feel the school did not follow the correct procedures when grades were awarded, they can appeal.
The initial appeal application will first go through the school or college, who are required to check for any errors or issues. If the grading is still not satisfactory, the student can raise an appeal with the exam board. At this point, they will then determine if the assessment by the teacher was fair. Students will also have the opportunity to sit exams during the autumn if they choose to.
What about results across the UK?
Scotland and Northern Ireland have separate education systems and will take their own approach to exam grades. However, given the events of August 2020, it seems unlikely anyone will be using algorithms this year.
How can TuitionWorks help?
Despite the lack of formal exams, our tutors can still significantly impact the grades achieved by your child. Working in parallel on the topics covered up to the assessment point could be crucial in shifting the class teacher’s assessment upwards.