Exam regulator Ofqual say a ‘substantial’ number of students will have their GCSE and A-levels downgraded after teachers submitted inflated marks when exams were cancelled
- Ofqual has said it is ‘not surprising’ that grades calculated were more optimistic
- Many students will receive at least one grade next month that has been adjusted
- Will make sure that this year’s results not significantly higher than previous years
A ‘substantial number of students’ will be given lower GCSE and A-level grades than their teachers wanted after schools submitted inflated marks when exams were cancelled, the regulator Ofqual has said.
Many students will receive at least one grade next month that has been adjusted due to standardisation to ensure this year’s results are not significantly higher than previous years.
Teachers submitted ‘central assessment grades’ – as well as other contributing information – based on a variety of different factors that would predict what marks their students would get if exams had gone ahead.
Ofqual has said it is ‘not surprising’ that these grades calculated by many schools and colleges were more optimistic, as teachers ‘naturally want to do their best for their students’.
Marks are set to be standardised by exam boards and it is this standardised result that will be sent to students.
A ‘substantial number of students’ will see their GCSE and A-level grades lowered after teachers submitted inflated marks when exams were cancelled, England’s exams regulator has said (stock image)
If the teacher-assessment grades were not standardised, this year’s results would be around 12 percentage points better than in 2019 at A-level and nine percentage points at GCSE, Ofqual said.
They said: ‘A substantial number of students will receive at least one grade that has been adjusted as a result of the standardisation process.
‘And while some will be adjusted upwards, on average, centres have submitted grades that are higher than would be expected. That is not surprising, given that the circumstances meant teachers were not given an opportunity to develop a common approach to grading in advance; and they naturally want to do their best for their students.
‘As such, if centre assessment grades were not statistically standardised, we would see results for 2020 that were, on average, 12 percentage points better than in 2019 at A level and 9 percentage points at GCSE; with greater peaks at some key grades such as 4 (at GCSE) and B (at A level).
‘Improvement on such a scale in a single year has never occurred and to allow it would significantly undermine the value of these grades for students.’
But even after standardisation, the regulator has said results this summer could be higher than last year’s, with a slight increase of 1 per cent for GCSE across the grades and around 2 per cent for A-level.
This year, for example, in tiered GCSEs, students will not fall off the higher tier and be ungraded if centre assessment grades are adjusted downwards – which could see national results improve.
Ofqual has said it is ‘not surprising’ that grades calculated by many schools and colleges were more optimistic, as teachers ‘naturally want to do their best for their students’ (stock image)
Ofqual has said it expects almost all grades that students receive to be the same as the centre assessment grades ‘or within one grade.’
‘Results for students will therefore almost always be broadly in line with centres’ and teachers’ expectations, reflecting the skills, professionalism and integrity of those involved,’ they said.
The regulator added that their analysis found that ‘there will generally be no widening of the gaps in attainment between different groups of students’.
They said: ‘The concern that identifiable groups of students would lose out from this year’s arrangements have not been borne out.’