For students, parents and staff waiting on GCSE results, the last week has been a particularly tense and anxious time, compounded by announcements, U-turns and contradictions from the Government.
Mr Quinn said, “I was delighted to publish GCSE results to students this morning, the awarded grades are a testament to the hard work and perseverance over many years.”
Despite the U-turn earlier in the week, on Tuesday it was still unclear what grades would be published by the exam boards. Eventually, the exam boards issued the higher of the centre assessed grade (CAG) or the calculated moderated grade. At Oaklands approximately 1% of the centre assessed grades were moderated up.
“Like all schools we followed the advice and guidance given by Ofqual and others to arrive at the centre assessed grades, we implemented a robust QA process to ensure the grades represented student achievements. This was a good group of students; the number of youngsters with the top grades is broadly in line with the progress we expected this year group to make.”
This year’s GCSE results had to be awarded differently from usual, after exams were unable to go ahead due to Covid-19. Schools and colleges were asked to use their professional experience to make a fair and objective judgement of the grades they believed a student would have achieved had they sat their exams this year, and to submit these CAGs to the relevant exam board. The intention was that the exam boards would then moderate the CAGs, to check that schools and colleges had approached this task consistently, before providing students with their final calculated grades. It is the outcome of this moderation, using a statistical algorithm, that created such an outcry.
“Without moderation it is now impossible to make a comparison school to school. Using centre assessed grades irons out one inequality but leaves a different inequality, which is that some schools may have been more optimistic or pessimistic than others. For us the number of students who achieved straight 8 or 9 grades is broadly in line with previous years as is the performance in Maths and English.”
For students who are unhappy with the outcome of the awarded grades there is an option to take the exam in the Autumn.
“The emotions today were tempered more by relief than excitement. Many of our students are coming back to the Sixth Form, I am pleased we are going to be able to offer students courses that are 100% face to face. This is no less then what students deserve considering the anxiety of recent months. Congratulations again for everything they’ve achieved in this most difficult of years.”