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Qualifications Summer 2020

Volume 675: debated on Monday 27 April 2020

I would like to update the House on arrangements for awarding qualifications in England this summer following the Secretary of State’s previous written ministerial statement (HCWS176) made on 23 March.

In the Secretary of State’s previous statement, he said that the independent qualifications regulator, Ofqual, would develop and set out a process for GCSEs, AS levels and A levels that would provide a calculated grade to each student which reflects their performance as fairly as possible, and work with the exam boards to ensure this was consistently applied for all students.

On 3 April, Ofqual set out details on how GCSEs, AS and A levels will be awarded this summer. The information can be found on: www.gov.uk.

Ofqual has also launched a consultation on aspects of the new system for grading these qualifications, with a deadline for response of 29 April. The consultation is available on: www.gov.uk.

I can confirm that AS and A level results will be published on 13 August and GCSE results on 20 August, as originally planned.

Releasing results on the planned dates will enable students to progress to higher or further education and allow students time to decide whether they wish to sit exams in the autumn term, and to prepare for those exams if necessary.

I can also confirm that we are continuing to work at pace with Ofqual to determine the approaches to assessment and awarding of vocational and technical qualifications, as well as other general qualifications which are not GCSEs, AS levels or A levels. On 9 April, Ofqual set out its approach for the assessment and awarding of these qualifications. Qualifications which are used for progression to further and higher education should, as far as possible, be treated in the same way as GCSEs, AS and A levels, with students receiving a calculated result. Calculated results will draw appropriately on a range of evidence, depending on the structure of the qualification. It will not be appropriate to issue calculated results for all vocational and technical qualifications, such as those used to signal occupational competence. These qualifications should, wherever possible, receive adapted assessments. The information can be found on: www.gov.uk.

On 24 April, Ofqual also launched a consultation on implementation of these measures. The consultation closes on 8 May. It can be found on: www.gov.uk.

The aim is to ensure that results for vocational and technical qualifications and other general qualifications that are used for progression to further or higher education are made available at the same time as GCSEs, AS and A levels.

[HCWS199]