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GCSE and A-level results to be released on expected days in August - UK Govt

By Eleanor Busby, PA Education Correspondent

Students will receive their GCSE and A-level grades on the pre-planned results days in August after exams were cancelled amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government has confirmed.

A-level pupils will get their results on August 13 and GCSE students will be given their grades on August 20, the Department for Education (DfE) said.

It comes after exams regulator Ofqual said the results would be released no later than originally planned and suggested they could be made available sooner.

The Government originally said it was aiming for grades to be awarded to pupils by the end of July.

Earlier this month, the watchdog instructed teachers to provide grades for students which reflect the results they would have been most likely to achieve if the exams had gone ahead.

Schools and colleges have been told to rank pupils within each grade for each subject but not to share these with families until final results are issued.

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said: “I am pleased to confirm that GCSE and A-level students will still receive their exam results as planned this summer, on Thursday August 20 and Thursday August 13 respectively.

“I want to thank all those who are helping to make this happen despite the challenges we are facing. We know that this is an important milestone for students, parents and teachers and so I hope this news will provide them with some reassurance and clarity.”

Schools in England closed more than three weeks ago to the majority of pupils, apart from the children of key workers and vulnerable youngsters, due to the coronavirus outbreak.

On Wednesday, Ofqual launched a two-week consultation on its plans for awarding grades to GCSE and A-level students amid the pandemic.

The regulator had previously said only Year 11 pupils would be awarded GCSE grades, but now it is considering issuing grades to those in Year 10 and below after concerns were raised by parents.

Ofqual is also proposing that appeals should only be allowed if a school or college made a data error when submitting information to the exam board, or if the exam board made a mistake when calculating, assigning or communicating a grade.

The watchdog said: “We do not believe it would be meaningful or appropriate for students to appeal on the basis of their centre’s judgment of their likely performance in the exams, had they gone ahead, or on their position in the centre’s rank order.”

Students will also have the opportunity to sit exams at the earliest opportunity in the new academic year, as well as in summer 2021. If they choose to do this, both grades will stand.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said: “We would imagine that this is a pragmatic decision taken to give exam boards and Ofqual as much time as possible to sort out this year’s grading given the fact that it is a totally untried system forced by extraordinary circumstances.

“That seems pretty reasonable, and actually only returns us to the normal timing of the respective results days.

“Universities have already indicated that they will treat this year’s A-level grades in the normal way so we cannot foresee this decision creating any problems.”

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