The approach to awarding #GCSE, AS and #ALevel grades in 2021 following the cancellation of exams. 

Students applying to university should receive their exam results earlier in August and at the same time across the UK to reduce stress for young people and make the admissions process as smooth as possible, the Russell Group has said in a response to Ofqual and the Department for Education (DfE).

The Russell Group is also calling for urgent clarity on grade distribution to help it plan for a potentially larger cohort of students and to consider the additional support universities might require in order to navigate admissions this year.

In its response to the Ofqual/DfE consultation on assessment conditions for Summer 2021, the group of 24 universities is also asking for more contextual information about students and details about the content not being covered in this year to help it better assess applications and ensure people from disadvantaged backgrounds are not unfairly penalised. This information is also needed to help universities put appropriate measures in place to support students.

Commenting, Cat Turhan, Policy Analyst at the Russell Group, said:

“As well as a fair and transparent system for determining grades for students this summer, it is crucial that steps are taken to enable a smooth university admissions process that is consistent across the country and minimises the stress on those receiving their grades.

“Key to this will be maintaining a single results day across all UK nations, early enough to give universities enough time to process results, and with continued ‘coupling’ of when students and universities are informed of results to allow places to be confirmed immediately.

“Whatever the assessment system this summer, we want to reassure students across all four nations of the UK that Russell Group universities will be as fair and flexible as possible to ensure they are not disadvantaged in their applications.”

Closed consultation: Consultation on how GCSE, AS and A level grades should be awarded in summer 2021. 

Ofqual and the Department for Education are analysing your feedback. Visit this page again soon to download the outcome to this public feedback.

Summary

The approach to awarding GCSE, AS and A level grades in 2021 following the cancellation of exams.

This consultation ran from  to 

Consultation description

Government decided that schools and colleges must close to most, to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Through this joint consultation, Ofqual and the Department for Education want to hear the views of students who were due to take their exams, their parents and carers, their teachers, school and college leaders and others who have an interest, including further and higher education providers, and employers. The consultation covers general and vocational qualifications, with this document focusing on the former.

Students need grades to continue to the next stage of their education or training, or into employment. Grades must reflect what a student knows, understands and can do, and they must be widely understood and respected. In place of exams in summer 2021 we propose that a student’s grade in a subject will be based on their teacher’s assessment of the standard at which they are performing.

Documents

How GCSE, AS and A level grades should be awarded in summer 2021

Ref: Ofqual/21/6743/1PDF, 601KB, 46 pages

How GCSE, AS and A level grades should be awarded in summer 2021 (HTML)

HTML

Published 15 January 2021
Last updated 15 January 2021 + show all updates

  1. Added an accessible, HTML version of the consultation document.

  2. First published.

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