Exams in England 2023

On 29 September 2022, the DfE, Ofqual and JCQ released joint confirmation of the policy decisions for exams in 2023 (England only).

These include:
  • The grade profile for GCSEs and A levels in 2023 will return to the 2019 grade profile, as expected, with an additional safety net to ensure that overall grades are not lower than in 2019 (as one might expect them to be, if the performance standard is lower).
  • This means that at a cohort-level, students have the same chance of getting an A*, A, C, etc in 2023 as they would have had in 2019.
  • VTQ exams will be graded in a similar way.
  • For UCAS, teachers should use pre-pandemic standards as the basis for predicted grades.
  • Formula sheets in GCSE maths, physics and combined science are due to be kept for 2023.
  • The other adaptions, including advanced information, will not continue this year.
  • JCQ has published its draft timetable. This includes spaces between the first and last qualification, though not always 10 days as this related to the isolation period at the time the 2022 timetable was published.
  • The minimum criteria for special consideration for candidates who are absent at the time of the exam will continue to be one paper, rather than 25%. 
In addition to these policy decisions, two consultations were also launched:
  • What contingency arrangements should be in place for 2023, in case exams are cancelled? 
  • Proposed changes to the assessment of MFL - our response is here.
Template letter for students and parents on exams
September 2022
In response to members’ requests for a template letter that can be used to explain these decisions to students and parents, please find an adaptable template together with an FAQs section here. It is intended to go beyond the headlines that students and parents may have read and reassure them during a stressful time. It should be adapted to meet your school or college’s context.

May 2023
As exams are currently underway, we have produced an adaptable template letter that schools and colleges can use to explain grading this summer to reassure students, parents and other stakeholders. This is in direct response to members commenting that students are going into exams very anxious about a return to pre-pandemic grading.

Ofqual student guidance
Included in our template letter above, we reference Ofqual’s new guidance for students, which was published 17 May, and explains the approach taken this year in student-friendly language.

Related Pages

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