Awarding qualifications in summer 2021 - Information for students and parents
27th April 2021
Dear Students, Parents and Carers,
RE: Update with regards to awarding of GCSE and A levels in summer 2021
I am writing to provide you with further information about the awarding for grades for this summer. Earlier this month, we sent home an outline of our process. If you have not read this fully please use the following link
We have been working with all the staff involved to ensure that a fair and rigorous process is followed, including regular training and updates of the awarding of grades. As a result, you will be aware already that the school will be closed to students on Tuesday 18th May 2021. This day has been set aside to enable us to moderate and scrutinise all the evidence gathered and the likely grades to be awarded.
I have to make it very clear to parents and carers that we are not permitted by law to share the grades we submit. Students will only be told of their grades on the results days in August. These are August 10th for A levels and August 12th for GCSEs.
Our intention is that the vast majority of evidence will have been collected, marked and moderated by half-term, so that we can work with small groups of students as necessary after half-term, where any additional evidence might be required to secure a grade.
Therefore, most students in years 11 and 13 and those in year 12 who are on a level 2 pathway, will finish attending full days at school on Friday 21st May. We will then invite groups of students in for any remaining assessments during the weeks:
24th -28th May
1ST-4th June (half term week)
It is therefore essential that all students in examination classes are available to come into school as requested up until the 18th June, which is the deadline for the submission of grades.
There will be transition activities for Year 11 students to take part in during the summer term as they look to move to the sixth form and we will be inviting them back on site during the week of 21st June for some A level taster sessions. Further information will be sent to you from the sixth form team.
Head of year 11 (Ms Chakravarthi) and head of year 13 (Ms Machnicki) will be organising events to celebrate the end of the students’ time in school, and these arrangements will be sent directly to you nearer the time.
There are some important aspects to the process that you need to be aware of and these are explained below. Much of these are in relation to the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) expectation of centres in ensuring a fair process.
Special considerations and access arrangements
As per our centre policy for the JCQ, all students who are entitled to special considerations or access arrangements have been identified. We have made every effort to ensure that these are in place for all assessments which have taken place. This includes the disruption to learning due to isolation from Covid related incidents. We will consider special considerations and access arrangements in the grading process. School leaders have put in place robust checking mechanisms to ensure this is done fairly. Through quality assurance at school and externally with exam boards we are confident that all circumstances have been considered. However, if you are unsure, please contact Mr Smith.
You need to be aware that any interference from students, parents or carers in the awarding of grades is considered exam malpractice and we are duty bound to report any incidents to the JCQ. With this in mind, we must remind you, not to contact any teachers about the grades being awarded. They are not permitted to share grades with students, parents or carers. Information about what evidence is being used is shared with students and a summary for each subject will be shared on our website in due course. However, we would ask that you trust in our systems to ensure the grades have been awarded fairly. The objectivity and integrity of the process is guaranteed by our policy.
As with any exam, students have a right to appeal, and the JCQ is currently carrying out a consultation to finalise the process for appeals this summer. We hope that students will be accepting of the grades issued and that the robust processes we have in place will ensure appeals are unlikely. However, we will publish details of appeals once the JCQ consultation is finalised. It is important that students are able to move on to their next stage of education in confidence and they have the knowledge, skills and attributes necessary to be successful. As is usual, this means for a small number of students they will retake GCSE English or maths in year 12 or sit a foundation year at university. We will support all students with the transition on results days in August.
All students must sign declarations to confirm the work submitted is their own. Failure to reference correctly or plagiarise work will lead to penalties. Students will also be required to sign candidate confirmation forms to show that they understand the process for how grades have been awarded this summer. These will be completed in school but copies of these can be found on the school website.
All of these aspects are in place to ensure a transparent process and protect students from being disadvantaged. We are extremely proud of our inclusive ethos at Caterham. We hope that you will recognise the hard work, in extremely challenging circumstances, that the school has been undertaking in order to do the best for every student.
We always welcome feedback from parents, carers and students and if you have any questions about any of the above, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Mr Smith, Deputy Headteacher – Standards and Curriculum