GCSE and A Level Grades 2020 - Vocational grades still to be issued

On 13 August Kingsmeadow Post 16 students received their A Level and AS grades. On 20 August Year 10 and Year 11 students were able to collect their GCSE grades. These are a testament to the hard work and perseverance of Kingsmeadow students over many years. I wanted to take the opportunity to explain how results were determined this year. As you know, this year’s results had to be awarded differently from usual, after exams were unable to go ahead due to Covid-19. Schools were asked to use their professional experience to make a fair and objective judgement of the grades they believed a student would have achieved had they sat their exams this year, and to submit these centre-assessed grades (CAGs) to the relevant exam board. Groups of teachers and leaders in each subject worked together to discuss and agree the centre-assessed grade for each student. They took into account a wide range of available evidence, including class work, key assessments and other records of student performance.

The intention was that the exam boards would then moderate the CAGs, to check that schools and colleges had approached this task consistently, before providing students with their final calculated grades. Unfortunately, as you will no doubt be aware, the method they used to do this proved problematic, and was likely to lead to many grades being unfairly downgraded.

The government therefore made the decision that GCSE and A level students would be awarded whichever was higher for each subject – their CAG or their calculated grade. This is what the grades that were issued on the results days earlier this month reflected.

Unfortunately the initial results received for the vocational subjects at Post 16 were flawed, and then vocational grades for Year 10 and Year 11 were withheld by the exam boards on 20 August. This has meant that we are still waiting for confirmation of all vocational grades.

The different exam boards for vocational qualifications (Cambridge, Pearson WJEC) are releasing different dates for when they hope to have finalised grades ready for students. They are also highlighting several potential problems with even these revised dates. Unfortunately, we have no control over this situation. In what has been an exceptionally challenging year for all our students expecting external grades, we are keen to avoid any further disappointments and wasted journeys by assuming the information we have so far been supplied with will not change again.In order, therefore, to ensure that the results, when we get them, are the correct results, we will make them available for collection from the school's main reception on MONDAY 6TH SEPTEMBER. If we are in a position to bring this date forward then we will do so.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Domenic Volpe