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FAQs about A Level Qualifications in 2020

The following FAQs are based on the Department for Education’s update on 20 March 2020, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-details-on-exams-and-grades-announced

Q: Will I be getting an A Level grade for each subject?

A: Yes.  The Government have announced that Ofqual will set out a process to provide a calculated grade to each student to reflect their performance as fairly as possible.

Q: Will teachers be deciding my grades?

A: Teachers will be asked to submit a grade that they believe students would have received but the exam boards will decide on the final grade which you are given. 

Q: How will teachers at Upton decide on the grades to give to the exam board for me?

A: We are awaiting further guidance from the government on how to do this.  So far we have been told we should consider a range of evidence which includes mocks and non-exam assessment.  Please note the emphasis on ‘range of evidence’, which means the evidence will go beyond your mock examination results.

Q: When will I get these grades?

A: The aim is to provide grades to students before the end of July. In terms of a permanent record, the grades will be indistinguishable from those provided in other years.

Q: What if I am unhappy with my grades?

A: The Education Secretary has said students will be able to appeal their grades if they do not believe the correct process has been followed.  We await further information about this.

The Education Secretary has also said students will have the opportunity to sit an exam at the earliest reasonable opportunity, once schools are open again. Students will also have the option to sit their exams in summer 2021.  Staff at Upton will therefore use Google Classroom to continue teaching the courses to Year 13 students so that students are prepared for both these options should they wish to pursue them.

Q: Is it different for BTECS?

A: We await clear information on this but the government has said students will already have completed modules or non-exam assessment which could provide evidence to award a grade.

Q: What about coursework that I haven’t submitted (BTEC and A Level)?

A: Given that we are waiting further guidance about how grades will be calculated, all Year 13 students should continue to produce their coursework.  We will send out further advice about submissions shortly.

Q: Will this affect my place at university?

A: After the announcement from the Department for Education was published, UCAS published its own announcement which stated that the admissions timetable will run similarly to previous years as students in England ‘will be awarded a calculated grade for any exam they were entered for’.  UCAS is in the process of emailing all applicants with this update.  They appreciate you will have lots of questions and they assure us that they are working with the examinations regulator to provide further details as soon as possible.

 Q: What should I do now?

A:

  1.  Do not panic.  Every Year 13 student in the country is in the same position.
  2.  Please wait for further updates from school. We will send out further clarification as and when we receive it.  Staff at Upton are unable to provide any further details at this time.
  3. Check your emails regularly.
  4. Make sure you have accepted invitations to the Google Classrooms created by each of your and work through any material uploaded by your teachers. This includes EPQ.
  5. Continue with coursework.
  6. Stay positive and safe!