Following the closure of schools and colleges for most students in March, and the cancellation of summer exams, the Government has been working, alongside Ofqual and exam boards, to develop an approach for awarding grades in GCSE, AS and A levels.
This system utilised a formula based on schools’ prior grades, however, it became clear that the algorithm had a number of anomalies that were not anticipated, resulting in students receiving grades that did not reflect their hard work, and ultimately undermined the confidence in the system. When students are prevented from completing their courses of study in familiar ways, or sit exams, no mitigation effort will be found entirely satisfactory.
I am happy to hear that Ofqual have accepted centre assessment grades, and have scrapped the standardisation algorithm. This ensures that students will receive grades that are reflective of their achievements, and not be downgraded by the results of previous years. Further, I believe, given the exceptional circumstances of 2020, that all offers granted and accepted should be honoured by universities irrespective of the achieved grade.
The decision to change this flawed system was the right one. I would like to apologise for the anxiety and worry that this has caused for students.