Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, has welcomed the Education Secretary announcement today that students will receive grades awarded and determined by teachers, with pupils only assessed on what they have been taught.
Teachers will be able to draw on a range of evidence when determining grades, including the optional use of questions provided by exam boards, as well as mock exams, coursework, or other work completed as part of a pupil’s course, such as essays or in-class tests. No algorithm will be used.
Students studying vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs) that are often taught alongside GCSEs and A levels on one or two year courses, and used for university or college places, will also receive grades assessed by teachers rather than sitting exams.
Exams and assessments will continue in VTQs where they are needed for students to demonstrate the necessary professional standard in an occupation.
Schools, colleges and other educational settings will conduct multiple checks – such as checking consistency of judgements across teachers and that the correct processes were followed - to ensure as much fairness as possible. At the same time, exam boards will conduct their own checks, through a combination of random sampling and more targeted scrutiny where they identify cause for concern. Every student will have the right to appeal their grade.
The proposals being taken forward were supported in responses to the department and Ofqual’s largest ever consultation, with over 100,000 responses of which just over half (52%) came from pupils.
Commenting, Caroline said:
“Over the course of the pandemic I have been in touch with our local educational providers and met primary and secondary Headteachers. I know that they, parents and pupils had very valid concerns round the summer 2021 exams.
“Today’s announcement provides certainty for students and teachers on the way forward ensuring that pupils are graded fairly and accurately.”
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
“Young people have shown incredible resilience over the last year, continuing with their learning amidst unprecedented challenges while the country battles with this pandemic. Those efforts deserve to be fairly rewarded.
“That’s why we are providing the fairest possible system for those pupils, asking those who know them best – their teachers – to determine their grades, with our sole aim to make sure all young people can progress to the next stage of their education or career.”
Ofqual’s Interim Chief Regulator Simon Lebus said:
“We know how difficult this past year has been for many students, parents, schools and colleges. In normal years, we rely on exams to support students’ progression.
“I am confident that these arrangements will allow all parts of the education and training sector to work together collectively to make sure students’ grades reflect what they have achieved and provide a sound basis to enable them to make good decisions about their future.”