Exam results 2020: How is it all going to work?

Published: May 7, 2020

Students who were due to sit important exams this summer have had their plans thrown into chaos by the Covid-19 lockdown.

But the situation regarding methods for calculating and awarding grades is now becoming clearer.

Telford College’s senior team has been in constant communication with awarding bodies to help ensure the fairest possible means of assessment.

Graham Guest, principal and chief executive, said: “The most important thing for us throughout this entire process is to ensure that none of our students are left at a disadvantage by the coronavirus situation.

“With summer exams cancelled, this has meant negotiating with many different awarding bodies.

“In the majority of instances, it is going to involve Telford College staff submitting a predicted result for students concerned, based on a number of factors.

“These include classwork and assignments, non-exam assessment, the results of mock exams,

Telford College | Exam news

Telford College | Exam news

participation in performances, plus any other relevant records of student performance.

“All recommendations will be quality checked and signed off by management, before being submitted to the relevant exam boards which will then standardise their judgements, using a methodology developed in conjunction with exams regulator, Ofqual.”

As instructed by Ofqual, the college will not be sharing provisional grades with students or their families before the final results have been officially issued.

In the case of A Levels and GCSEs, grades will be released to students on the originally planned results days of August 13 and 20 respectively.

Mr Guest said: “All of our assessments will be a fair, reasonable and carefully considered judgement of the most likely grade a student would have achieved if they had sat their exams as planned.

“The grades will have equal status to those awarded in other years, in the eyes of universities, colleges and employers. On results slips and certificates, they will be reported in the same way as in previous years.”

Telford College is working with a wide range of awarding bodies to finalise assessments, including City & Guilds for courses including construction, engineering, aviation, hair and beauty and catering.

It uses Pearson for courses such as business, art and media, sport, IT, and public services, plus NCFE for health and social care, childcare, and support teaching and learning.

Other awarding bodies include OCR for digital and art courses, IMI for automotive, and Highfield for first aid at work, and business administration.

Mr Guest added: “Not all of the awarding bodies are operating in an identical fashion. For example, the AAT is exploring options for remote invigilation of its accountancy students.

“And many of our higher education courses continue to be delivered remotely, with work submitted on the original schedule set at the beginning of the academic year.”

Apprentices are also continuing to work remotely towards their qualifications, even if the apprentice is currently furloughed from their employment, with remote invigilation currently being tested.

Mr Guest added: “We appreciate that this is an uncertain time for so many of our students who were gearing up to sit exams, and we want to assure them that we are here to give them our full support.

“In some areas, there may still be an opportunity to take assessments in the autumn – we will be consulting with awarding bodies regarding potential timings, and keeping students fully informed.

“We would like to thank our students for all their patience. We understand this is a worrying time, but the college is doing everything needed to allow students to progress appropriately.”

Telford College is one of the region’s largest further education colleges, with around 3,000 full and part-time students, plus more than 1,100 apprentices.

The college has found creative new ways of delivering its curriculum during lockdown, and the application process is now under way for the 2020/21 academic year, starting in September.

Video interviews are available for potential candidates, and a ‘virtual open day’ is also planned in the coming weeks to showcase the college’s courses and facilities.