ASCL Cymru: Coronavirus FAQs

These FAQs relate to the teacher assessment of grades. We are reviewing the FAQs on a regular basis – adding new questions as they arise, updating answers to existing questions as information changes, and removing obsolete questions. 

If you have a question which is not covered here, please email, and we will try to find an answer and share it here. 

ASCL Cymru has also produced Emerging principles and guidance regarding teacher-assessed grades for summer 2020 which may be helpful during the teacher assessment of grades process. 

These FAQs are provided for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal or professional advice. They represent ASCL’s views, but you rely on them at your own risk. For specific advice relevant to your particular circumstances, please contact your employer’s HR service or legal advisers.

Qualifications Wales states the following: 

"Year 10 learners who were due to sit exams that would have led to a whole GCSE qualification this summer will be issued a grade following the same process as Year 11 learners. Teacher assessed grades and other evidence will be used to calculate a grade. 

Year 10 learners who were due to sit units that will lead to GCSE results next summer, will not receive a unit result. For those learners, there will be two options. They can choose to sit only the units they plan to take in summer 2021, with their overall GCSE grade calculated on the basis of that performance only. 

Alternatively, they can choose to sit the Year 10 units in summer 2021, along with Year 11 units. Whichever option a learner chooses, they will be awarded the best grade from either route.

Learners who were due to sit their AS exams this year will not be required to take those exams at a later date. Instead they will be treated in a similar way to those taking GCSEs and A levels. 

All AS learners will receive an estimated AS grade and there will be no AS exams until summer 2021. The estimate will be based on a range of evidence, including teacher assessment grades, and will not contribute to A level results in 2021. 

In summer 2021, AS learners will have two options for their A level award. They can either choose to only sit the A2 units, with the A level grade awarded solely on their performance in those units, or they can choose to sit AS and A2 units. 

If they choose to sit the AS units alongside the A2 units they will be awarded the best grade from either route – either the grade awarded from performance on the A2 units alone or the grade awarded from combining both AS and A2 units. 


We believe it would be wrong to take any further work into consideration for their assessed grades because students cannot access it equally. Those students who are most privileged will have good environments and systems to engage with it. Other students many not be able to access the work, have a space and support to do it, may be ill or may be bereaved.

It is perfectly reasonable that Year 11 should be finishing their courses where possible, particularly where they plan to pursue the subject after 16. 

The guidance from Qualifications Wales advises that work completed after 20 March, when schools closed, should not be considered when making judgements on centre assessment grades. 

We are still waiting for clarification on these but we are assured that this should arrive very soon. 

You are not expected either to carry out summary teacher assessments for these learners or report any outcomes for these key stages. 

All any teacher can do is use what is available to them to assess their pupils. For example they can use pupils’ work, knowledge of how the school performs historically in their subject at their school and an understanding of how prior attainment influences grading at a national level via subject transition matrices.

This is currently under discussion.

No. The Minister has given her assurance that this will not be the case. 
ASCL is clear that any hint of accountability attached to the process of producing these grades will distort the process.

Everyone is exercised about this problem in our system, but this process cannot be used to address it. Teachers must think through, using what they know, what grade is the most plausible for each child.

A centre assessment grade is needed for each learner. This is based on what that learner would have been likely to achieve, had the exams gone ahead.
A rank order for each subject within grades is required. 

This will not be accepted by the WJEC. There needs to be a single rank order. 

There will be a statistically based moderation process conducted by the awarding organisations and QW. This is intended to ensure that the overall distribution of grades nationally is broadly in line with what would be expected from this cohort. Heads of centre need to ensure that the process conducted within their school is as thorough and fair as possible.

The WJEC is looking at a model to apply to the data they receive. They will take into consideration grade distribution at a national level, your previous school or college’s results and any prior attainment data. The school’s rank order is unlikely to change after any standardisation is applied. 

That is currently being worked out by the WJEC who are adapting IT systems to gather the data. You will hear from the exam board after Easter. 

The deadline for submission of the data will be no earlier than 29 May 2020.

No. Qualifications Wales will be issuing a notice to parents and carers that schools will not be doing this. It may be wise to circulate this to your parents too. 

In the meantime Qualifications Wales states:
"Centres must not, under any circumstances, share the centre assessment grades nor the rank order of learners with learners, or their parents or carers, or any other individuals outside the centre. This is to protect the integrity of the teachers’ judgements, and to avoid teachers, Heads of Department or Heads of Centre being put under pressure by learners and parents, to submit a grade that is not supported by the evidence. Since the final grades issued to some or all learners might be different from those submitted, it also helps to manage learners’ expectations."


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