Coronavirus: further changes to summer exam results

Published 17/08/2020   |   Last Updated 27/05/2021   |   Reading Time minutes

This article was finalised at 12:00, 17 August 2020. The Minister for Education announced later that day that A level, AS, GCSE, Skills Challenge Certificate and Welsh Baccalaureate grades in Wales would be awarded on the basis of Centre Assessment Grades.

On 14 August we published an article setting out the situation with regards to A and AS-Level results in Wales. On 15 August, the Minister for Education, Kirsty Williams MS made a further announcement setting out new grounds for appealing the results of “A levels, AS, Skills Challenge Certificate and GCSEs”. This article addresses the latest announcement and we will aim to provide updates as additional information is published.

New grounds for appeal announced 15 August

The Minister announced on 13 August that she had instructed Qualifications Wales “to move forward quickly on relevant adjustments to a Welsh appeals process”. In response, Qualifications Wales explained that it wasreconsidering the grounds for appeal. It set out those new grounds on 15 August, saying that

An appeal can now be made on the grounds that there is evidence of internal assessment that has been judged by the school or college to be at a higher grade than the calculated grade awarded. Internal assessment evidence will need to meet specific criteria, which is being finalised and will be published shortly. If the appeal is successful, the learner’s grade will be revised to be the same as their internal assessment grade, but no higher than the Centre Assessment Grade submitted by the centre.

Qualifications Wales also explained that this new appeals process, in its view, addresses the concerns “of some centres” that A Level results calculated using AS performance do not reflect the potential for improved performance between taking the two qualifications. As explained by the Minister in her 15 May announcement, the new grounds for appeal also covers appealing GCSE results. GCSE results will be issued on Thursday 20 August.

Elsewhere in the UK

The Scottish Government announced on 11 August that pupils whose results were downgraded by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) are to receive new grades based solely on “teacher estimates”.

The Northern Irish Education Minister Peter Weir announced on 16 August that GCSE results in Northern Ireland would now no longer have standardisation calculations applied to them and will instead use the Centre Assessment Grade (CAG).

Information on the position in England is available from the UK Government and Ofqual.

Forthcoming information

At the time of writing Qualifications Wales is preparing updated regulatory documentation which has not yet been published, and WJEC has not yet updated its own published appeals documentation to reflect the new grounds for appeal. This means it is not yet known what “specific criteria” any internal assessment evidence will need to meet for a successful appeal.

Article by Phil Boshier, Senedd Research, Welsh Parliament

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