Alsager School

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Exam Grades

We are receiving lots of questions from students and parents / carers regarding the cancellation of the summer exams and the process that will be used to calculate individual results. We understand how unsettling this is for everyone. In the background, our staff have been working hard to gather a whole range of information that will be used as evidence to support whatever grades are awarded in each subject and for each student. Individual subject teachers are not in a position to be able to answer the vast majority of questions on this issue.

The fundamental principle in this process is teachers have been asked to submit their judgement about the grade that they believe the student would have received, if the exams had gone ahead. 

Today (3/4/20), Ofqual (the exams regulator) published detail guidance on this process and the work schools need to do in order to provide them with the most secure and objective assessment information, as possible for each of our students. It must be emphasised that we will not be in a position to share any of the information with students or parents. We have set up this FAQ page to help students and parents to stay up to date with the latest information. 

Q Is there anything I can do now to influence my final grades?

As from 3/4/20 there is nothing that individuals can do that will influence their final grades. This is a question that lots of students are asking individual teachers. This is why , as from 3/4/20, year 11 will no longer be set GCSE work and year 13 will no longer be set A level work by their teachers. 

Please do not contact teachers to try to influence them in the awarding process. Staff have been informed to ignore any such contact from students, parents or carers. 

Please remember that once the staff and school have submitted all our grades for each student in every subject, they will go through a central moderation process (which will look at national statistics, schools trends etc) and therefore might be subject to change. 

Q What is the latest guidance from the government, regarding the cancellation of exams?

Here is the link to the latest guidance. This detailed document was published on the 3rd April 2020. 

Q How will the right grade be calculated each student?

We all agree that ethically and morally all students will get the results that they deserve, to enable them to progress to the next stage of their learning. We are using the latest guidance from Ofqual, the exam boards, as well as the guidance from the DFE. We will look carefully at the wide range of evidence we hold for students in year 11 and year 13. 

Q My child didn’t do as well as expected in the mock examinations. Are the final grades based just on this?

No. We are initially looking at a whole range of evidence, in line with the guidance we have been given. This includes our regular assessment point grades, internal teacher assessments that have taken place throughout the course, national and local statistics for similar students, and teacher judgements, alongside mock examinations data. 

Q Are you just awarding their students their predicted grades?

No. We are using a fair system for all students which will take into account a wide range of assessments and judgements made over the course. Ofqual who have stated they want schools / colleges to look at a broad range of evidence, including teacher assessment, mock exam results and prior attainment. 

Q Will the school be informing students of the grades we have awarded?

No – the guidance clearly states that schools must not share this information with students, parents or anyone else outside the institution. Please remember that once the staff and school have submitted all our grades for each student in every subject, they will go through a central moderation process (which will look at national statistics, schools trends etc) and so might be subject to change.  

Q Will universities, colleges and sixth forms accept these calculated grades?

Yes. These grades will be formal qualification grades, with the same status as those awarded in any previous year. 

Q What is happening with university admissions?

UCAS, who operate the application process, reports that a holding has been put in place to stop universities offering any more unconditional offers, or changing offers, whilst they review their processes. They have an update page with the latest information for students, here. Please remember you can contact our 6th form team (Mrs Pole or Mrs Rowlands) at any time for advice and support. 

Q When are the grades being published?

Based on information from Ofqual on the 3/4/20, results will be published and awarded in August (just as they are in every year). As we get more information on this, we will update these FAQ’s. In the meantime, we will not discuss potential grades with individual students or parents / carers in any subject. There will be moderation and quality control measures put in place by Ofqual to ensure that the grades awarded locally are in line with grades nationally.

Q What if I am unhappy with my grade?

There will be an appeals mechanism in place if a student does not believe that they have been awarded the correct grade. We understand that this will not be delivered through the school. In addition, if a student does not feel the grade they have been reflects their performance, they may have the opportunity to sit an exam, as soon as is reasonably possible after schools open again. Students may also have the option to sit their exam in Summer 2021. Again, as soon as we have more information on this, we will update these FAQs.

Q Can I get rid of all my GCSE and A level notes / exercise books / files now?

No. Please see the point above. You may need them if you appeal against the grade you are awarded and need to sit the exam later in the year. As per government guidelines, you may need them if you have to re-sit your GCSE English / maths. Remember if a student does not achieve a grade 4 or higher in GCSE English and/or maths they must re-sit the subject. Plus, the notes you have will help you in your further studies.