GCSEs 2021: Teacher grades may use external papers

Gavin Williamson has set out the basis of teacher assessment for 2021 GCSE and A-level grades and said they could draw on external papers and tasks

William Stewart

Gavin Williamson

Gavin Williamson has set out how he wants teacher assessment to be used for this summer's GCSE and A-level grades, saying that it can draw on external papers and tasks.

The new details come in a letter from the education secretary to Ofqual published this morning in which he also says the grades should be finalised as late as possible to maximise students' teaching and catch-up time. 


GCSEs 2021: In full – Ofqual’s letter on summer grades

No algorithm: Teacher judgements won't be second guessed 

In full: Gavin Williamson's exams letter to Ofqual

Related: Williamson's letter to Ofqual


On GCSE and A and AS levels, Mr Williamson writes: "Given the disruption children and young people have faced, it is vital we maximise the remaining opportunity for them to be taught for as long as possible, so they have every opportunity to catch up.

"This will enable them to successfully progress, be that on to further or higher education or employment. It is my view that a teacher’s final judgement on a student’s grade ought to be as late as possible in the academic year to maximise remaining teaching time and ensure students are motivated to remain engaged in education.

"This year, we are asking teachers to assess their students, and it is my view that we should seek ways to support them to do so in a fair and consistent fashion.

"A breadth of evidence should inform teachers’ judgements, and the provision training and guidance will support teachers to reach their assessment of a student’s deserved grade.

"This should be drawn out in the consultation. In addition, I would like to explore the possibility of providing externally set tasks or papers, in order that teachers can draw on this resource to support their assessments of students.

"We should seek views in the consultation on what broader evidence should determine a teacher’s assessment of a student’s grade and whether we should require or recommend the use of the externally set tasks or papers.

"We should also seek to minimise the additional burdens for teachers and schools created by this need for evidence."

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William Stewart

William Stewart

William Stewart is News editor at Tes

Find me on Twitter @wstewarttes

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