Ofqual and JCQ guidance on 2021 grading 

24 March 2021

Ofqual published its response to the technical consultation on 24 March 2021, along with a large number of regulatory documents, all of which can be found here. The most useful of these for schools and colleges is probably the centre guidance, which gives a high level overview of the process of grading students for general and some vocational qualifications.

More detail on this is included in the JCQ guidance (see below). The Ofqual guidance does not contain many surprises, and is very close to the draft guidance published previously. The key changes are as follows:
  • Centres should be prepared to explain any significant change in submitted results from historical exam data patterns.
  • Any evidence used to reach the final grade, which was produced after 24 March, should be retained by the centre (but marking records before this date are fine).
  • The Head of Centre declaration has changed from a requirement that content coverage must be sufficient to ensure progression in that subject, to a requirement that content coverage must be sufficient to award a grade.
  • Undue pressure on teachers by students or parents must be avoided, and should be reported to the exam board as potential malpractice
JCQ guidance on 2021 grading
In addition to the Ofqual guidance documents above, JCQ has published its own detailed guidance. Please see our summary here.

Key aspects of this guidance and the implications for school and college leaders were discussed in our Team ASCL webinar  on  31 March. A recording of the session is available here

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