An update following the Government’s latest exams announcement

25 February, 2021

Activate Learning wants to ensure students feel supported throughout their studies and have a clear understanding of what to expect regarding their grades this academic year.

AS, A Level and GCSE qualifications

Today the Government and Ofqual have confirmed that AS, A Level and GCSEs will be awarded based on flexible teacher assessed grades.

Teachers will be able to use a range of evidence which can include mock exam results, coursework, essays or in-class tests to determine the basis of these grades. Grades will not be awarded based on algorithms.

Government has assured students that they will be assessed on what they’ve been taught throughout the pandemic and will not be penalised in recognition of the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on learning.

Teachers will have until early June to submit students’ grades to allow for as much teaching time as possible before grades are finalised.

A Level results day will be on 10 August and GCSE results day on 12 August. This will allow more time for appeals for those unhappy with their grades.

Those awaiting university places will have their appeals prioritised and there is no financial charge expected.

Exam boards will provide detailed guidance on how they plan to make grade judgments by the end of the spring term as well as publishing optional assessment materials by Easter.

BTEC and VTQ qualifications

Currently, plans for vocational and technical qualifications will depend on the type of qualification and for many BTEC qualifications, exams will not go ahead.

Exact guidance will be released from each of the Awarding Bodies once details have been finalised.

For qualifications that are used for direct entry into employment or require students to demonstrate occupational or professional competence, assessments will be undertaken in a covid-secure environment. Subject areas commonly found in this group include construction, accounting, plumbing and automotive.

If these assessments cannot be taken as scheduled, they may be taken at a later date.

We are currently awaiting further information on how qualifications will be awarded. This will be issued to students and parents as soon as it becomes available.

Level 2 and Level 3 BTEC and VTQ results required for progression will be issued on or before August 10 and 12 to align with A Level and GCSE results days.

Like A Level and GCSE qualifications, this will allow more time for appeals for those unhappy with their grades.

Those awaiting university places will have their appeals prioritised and there is no financial charge expected.

Other qualifications

Assessments for subjects including functional skills and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), should still go ahead in a Covid-secure environment or remotely.

If this is not possible, teacher assessed grades may be awarded.

What if I’ve got a question?

We hope this news will help manage any concerns or anxieties anyone has around their qualifications this year.

If you have any specific questions regarding your qualification, please speak to your teachers in the first instance.

Individual awarding bodies will continue to set out what evidence is needed for each qualification. Once we have further guidance on what this will look like, we will update you.