Grades must be fair, transparent and moderated, say Doncaster schools

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Doncaster schools want exam grades to be fair and transparent after it was confirmed teachers will decide grades for GCSEs and A levels this year.

With GCSEs and A-level exams cancelled because of the pandemic, ministers have confirmed schools will determine grades using a combination of mock exams, coursework and essays.

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There will be optional assessments set by exam boards for all subjects, but they will not be taken in exam conditions, to decide final grades.

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Teachers will decide exam grades this yearTeachers will decide exam grades this year
Teachers will decide exam grades this year

Results will be published earlier in August to allow time to appeal. A-level results day will be August 10, with GCSEs results given out on August 12.

Adam Atkinson, principal, at Astrea Academy Woodfield, part of Astrea Academy Trust, said: “It has been an unsettling time for our students expecting to take exams this summer and it is good to now have clarity on the way forward.

"We are committed to making this new system work and we will do everything possible to support Woodfields students to move on to the next stage of their lives – whether further study, training or work.

"Any grading process must be fair, transparent and command confidence. We have already started work to develop a thorough process for grading students, which will draw on evidence from a range of their work and ensure grades properly reflect their ability. In these circumstances, teachers are best placed to grade students and I am confident my team can do a thorough, professional job.”

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Helen Redford-Hernandez, chief executive of Brighter Futures Learning Partnership Trust, which runs Hungerhill School, Doncaster University Technology College and five Doncaster primary schools, said she thought the teachers assessment system was the fairest way of deciding the grades, but predicted it would lead to inflated grades over the traditional exam system.

She said: “As long as there is robust moderation in place, I think it is the fairest way of doing it.

"We have already done a major piece of work, last year, on moderation, with our own schools and with other schools we work with in Doncaster, and a school we work with outside Doncaster.

"What I am impressed with is the exam boards have said they will produce test papers that are already moderated that we can give to students.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.

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