GCSEs 2021: Covid means generous grading, says Ofqual

GCSE and A-level grades need to be 'more generous' in 2021, and maybe beyond, due to Covid, regulator tells Williamson
5th November 2020, 1:57pm

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GCSEs 2021: Covid means generous grading, says Ofqual

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/gcses-2021-covid-means-generous-grading-says-ofqual
Ofqual: Gcse & A-level Grades Need To Be More 'generous' Next Year, Regulator Tells Education Secretary Gavin Williamson

Ofqual says that grading for GCSEs and A levels in 2021 - and possibly later years - must be more generous in order to compensate for the disruption to education caused by the coronavirus.

In a letter to education secretary Gavin Williamson, Ofqual chief regulator Dame Glenys Stacey said the grading next year would need to account for the "baleful impact of the pandemic for all students qualifying in 2021 (and possibly beyond)."


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"We will be intent on making sure that results are sufficiently valid and fair across subjects, but there is nevertheless, in our view, an opportunity to recognise, and to compensate for the baleful impact of the pandemic for all students qualifying in 2021 (and possibly beyond), by setting national performance standards more generously than in normal times," Dame Glenys wrote in a letter published today.

Coronavirus: Ofqual wants to make GCSEs and A levels 'less daunting'

She also reiterated Ofqual's desire to make exams less "daunting" for students next year.

"In all years, a student's prospects and their opportunities to learn are, of course, affected by individual circumstances, but in this exceptional period, almost all students have already had less opportunity to learn in the usual ways, because of the pandemic," she wrote.

"Some will be much more affected than others, because of their home circumstances or because of the path of the pandemic. It is important that we recognise that in every way possible, in a joined-up way across the system, without bending examinations out of shape." 

Last month, Tes reported that senior exam sources said the grades in 2021 would need to be more generous than those in 2020 in order to be fair to students because of the amount of learning time they had missed. 

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