The process in 2020
The results in 2020 for GCSE and A level 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, based on work that the student had already done, then to submit these centre-assessed grades (CAGs) to the relevant exam board.
Groups of teachers and leaders in each subject worked together to discuss and agree CAGs for each student. They took into account a wide range of available evidence, including class work, mock exams and other records of student performance.
Schools and colleges were also asked to make sure that, unless there had been major changes in their school or college this year, the CAGs they submitted were broadly in line with the institution’s previous results in a subject. This is because, although there can be some variation from one year to another, data shows that this is normally quite small.
At The Polesworth School, we closely followed Ofqual’s guidance on determining CAGs, as we were required to do.
The process we undertook, therefore, was as follows:
- Senior leaders agreed the objective evidence that teachers and subject leaders would use when assessing students.
- Teachers and subject leaders worked together to propose a CAG for each student in each subject.
- Senior leaders reviewed all the proposed CAGs, moderating them as instructed by Ofqual.
- The final agreed CAGs were submitted to the exam boards.
As mentioned above, the CAGs were therefore the school’s considered assessment of the grade each student would have been most likely to get if they had taken their exams and completed any non-exam assessment this summer. As the Ofqual guidance makes clear, these are not the same as:
- age-related grades (usually defined as the grade a student would receive if they took