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Published on 22nd July 2020
Dear Year 11 Student,
I am responding to your request for information about the grade(s) that Fernwood School provided to the exam board(s) in respect of 2020 exam qualifications. We can only release Centre Assessment Grades and Rank Orders directly to students and this must take place after results have been issued on 20th August 2020. Please can you email ExamsAdmin@fernwoodschool.org.uk with your request for your Centre Assessment Grades and Ranks. Once your report is ready you will be required to collect it in person, if you are unable to do this we can post the report to your home address on request. If you require the report posting please state this in your request to the above email address, we strongly recommend that you also check your home address is correct in the school data base. Your parents will be able to do this on your behalf using the ParentApp.
The Joint Council for Qualifications provided strict guidance for all schools to follow which we applied to our process throughout. In addition, the Joint Council for Qualifications have provided some clarity as to the methodology used. I include this below:
“GCSE level grades have been awarded by exam boards this summer through a methodology set by the regulators. Centres were asked to send exam boards two pieces of information for each subject. These were to be solely based on existing evidence:
- Centre Assessment Grades – the grades they believed students were most likely to achieve in their examinations
- Rank Orders – within each subject, the order of students, by performance, for each grade
The standardisation system also considers a school or colleges’ results over time and students’ prior attainment to determine whether the Centre Assessment Grades submitted were more generous or severe than predicted. This process allows for the standardisation of grades across schools and colleges to ensure that results are aligned across the cohort.
Differences between Centre Assessment Grades and final grades It was not possible to standardise the way teachers generated their Centre Assessment Grades this summer, there simply was not the time. Instead, in the interests of fairness, it was necessary for exam boards to standardise the judgements of centres in order to make sure that, at a national level, grade distributions in summer 2020 were broadly in line with previous years.
Centres may experience some adjustments to their Centre Assessment Grades. The extent of any difference a centre might experience may vary between subjects because standardisation was conducted at a subject level, not at centre level. For example, the standardisation of GCSE English language was not affected by the standardisation of GCSE history.”
To clarify, where there is a difference between centre and exam board grades, it is helpful to understand the process which has taken place. The grades that we submitted were our best assessment of what you would have achieved if you had taken exams. The exam boards then applied a ‘standardisation model’ so that the distribution of grades awarded this year is consistent with those awarded in other years at a national level. This process inevitably results in some centre-assessed grades being adjusted.
I understand it may feel confusing and unfair to you where there is a difference between a centre-assessed grade and the final grade awarded by the exam board. I can reassure you that your teachers approached the task of assessing grades with the utmost diligence, and that they felt the grades submitted were a fair and accurate reflection. The final grades awarded by the exam boards are the product of a nationally applied process, aimed at ensuring that your grades are consistent with those of students in other years, and therefore have equal value.
I am also conscious that this has been a difficult and anxious time for you as a result of the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. If, once you have received your report with your centre-assessed grades and ranks, you would like any further support or information please email: ExamsAdmin@fernwoodschool.org.uk to arrange a phone call appointment with a senior member of staff.
For those students wishing to re-sit exams we are yet to determine where that will take place. Ideally re-sits would take place at Fernwood subject to review of the risk assessment given the coronavirus pandemic.
The National Careers Service has also provided an exam results helpline during August 2020. Young people or their parents/carers can contact the helpline on 0800 100 900 to speak to a professionally qualified careers adviser if they need advice on their next steps. The helpline will be open from 8am to 10pm from Thursday 13 August until Friday 28 August. After these dates, young people will be able to access ongoing support from the National Careers Service at any time by calling 0800 100 900, visiting www.nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/contact-us or searching for the National Careers Service on Facebook and Twitter.