ASCL comment on Ofqual plan for grading A-levels and GCSEs

03/04/2020
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders comments on the plan published today by Ofqual for grading A-levels and GCSEs this summer
 
Commenting on the plan published today by Ofqual for grading A-levels and GCSEs this summer, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
 
“We support Ofqual’s plan for the grading of A-levels and GCSEs following the cancellation of exams, and call upon everybody to back this approach. We must all recognise this is a system forged in extremis. It is about making the best out of a difficult situation.
 
“We are confident that Ofqual’s plan is the fairest and most consistent way of grading these qualifications in these circumstances. Students can be assured their schools and colleges know them well, will assess their work with the utmost diligence, and that the process for standardising results will ensure a level playing field nationally. It will allow students to progress to the next stage of their lives without hinderance.
 
“It is important to understand that a mechanism is applied to A-level and GCSE results every year which means the distribution of grades is broadly the same as for similar cohorts in previous years. The model planned by Ofqual this year will apply a similar approach to assessments made by schools and colleges rather than to exams. The benefit is this ensures consistency over time and students can therefore be confident that a grade achieved this year will have the same value as in any other year.
 
“Many of us have longer term concerns about aspects of the exam system as it currently stands. But that is a matter for another day. Change will require carefully considered reform. The immediate priority is fairness for this year’s A-level and GCSE students and we are all committed to making sure this happens.”