Here's how students will receive exam grades this summer - and there are some BIG changes

Following the cancellation of GCSE and A Level exams, the Government have announced how students will be graded this year – and it is not an algorithm.

By Sam Ward
Thursday, 25th February 2021, 12:53 pm

The Government were forced to make a U-Turn on exam grades last summer, when an algorithm awarded many students well under what they were predicted by their schools.

This summer, however, GCSE, AS and A Level grades will be decided by teachers, it was previously announced.

For many students, their school or college has been closed since the new year – and will only return on March 8, meaning mainstream assessing would have been extremely hard.

Students receive their results (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

This year, the Department of Education has allowed teachers to use their ‘professional judgement’ when deciding the outcome of grades at all levels.

How will it work?

At a press conference yesterday, February 24, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: "We are putting trust in teachers.

"There is going to be no algorithms whatsoever but there will be a very clear and robust appeals mechanism."

Teachers will be given a range of ways to assess the students, including mock exams, coursework, and assignments – and the length of these can be decided by the relevant teacher.

They will be free to decide the nature of these assessments, but will be offered support by national exam boards such as AQA.

The exam boards will also set test papers for each individual subject, to help inform teachers.

When will they receive their results?

A Level students will receive their grades earlier than usual, on August 10, while GCSE students have been told they will receive theirs on August 12.

Students in both categories will then have more time to appeal during the summer – should they disagree with their resulting grade.

Martyn Oliver, chief executive of Outwood Grange Academies Trust said: “Children have experienced very different levels of learning since last March and the arrangements announced today will bring a great sense of relief.

"Teachers, who know their pupils best, are being trusted and supported to ensure that all pupils are given a grade based upon what they have covered and not on what they may have missed.”

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson will announce more about how GCSEs will be graded in a Commons statement on this morning, February 25.