GCSE Results 2021 - Information for Students, Parents & Carers
How were grades awarded?
The process of awarding GCSE grades this year has been significantly different from previous years. Information about the grading process was shared with students and parents earlier in the year and is summarised below.
In short, teachers were asked to ‘make a holistic judgement of each student’s performance on a range of evidence relating to the subject content that has been delivered.’ In 2021, grades for GCSEs and other qualifications are based on a process involving teacher assessment against national standards.
Our teachers used range of assessment information and worked collectively to determine grades based on the evidence of students’ understanding of the content they have been taught, with rigorous quality assurance processes in place to ensure that grading is as fair and accurate as possible. Although the assessment process was very different this year, this does not mean that good grades have been given away freely; students were required to demonstrate clearly that they met the criteria required to achieve a grade.
Students were notified in advance of the assessment information that would be used in the grading process. This evidence may include:
Mock Examinations – Sat in November and December 2020
Scores from Mini Assessment Points (MAPs) completed during the GCSE course
Mini Assessments Points completed during the summer term
Evidence from externally assessed coursework and exams (certain subjects only)
Grades were not determined by teachers in isolation. Each subject developed a grading ‘protocol’ in line with school expectations and in order to conform to the internal quality assurance processes set out in the Centre Policy, as required by Ofqual. Teachers worked together to moderate and standardise assessments, drawing on guidance and support provided by exam boards. The grades awarded were scrutinised by senior leaders and the Wade Deacon Trust and, ultimately, external quality assurance and sampling of work was also carried out by exam boards once grades were submitted.
The school's procedures and grading samples have been approved without issue by Ofqual and the relevant exam boards.
SEND and Access Arrangements
Teachers made reasonable adjustments for SEN and disabled students when taking assessments and Access Arrangements that would have been in place for examinations were similarly applied during the summer assessment period. In addition, Special Consideration was applied as appropriate.
What to do if you believe your grade is unfair or incorrect
We politely ask that students and parents/carers do not seek to discuss the final awarded grades with their subject teachers. If you have a concern, please read and follow the guidance about appeals set out below.
Students can appeal if they believe:
there was an error in the way the school followed or applied its procedure for determining a teacher assessed grade
the school did not make a reasonable judgement when deciding which evidence to use to determine a teacher assessed grade
the school did not make a reasonable judgement about a grade based on the evidence gathered
Appeals take place in two stages:
Stage 1 - Centre Review
If you think your grade is wrong, you should first ask school to check whether a mistake was made in determining or submitting the grade. Please note that extensive checks have already been undertaken by the school, and the school's grading procedures checked and approved by Ofqual.
A Centre Review can be requested on the following grounds:
Administrative error - e.g. the wrong grade/mark was recorded against an item of evidence/assessment
Procedural error - e.g. a reasonable adjustment / access arrangement was not provided for an eligible student
Before requesting a Centre Review, you are advised to review the assessment evidence used to award the grade.
To request this, please complete the form below no later than 4.00pm on Friday 14th August. Please allow up to 5 working days for a response.
After reviewing this information, you may then choose to proceed with a Centre Review. To do so, you will need to complete the form below no later than 3.00pm on Weds 25th August. Again, please allow up to 5 working days for a response.
If, after completing a Centre Review, you still believe that your grade is incorrect, you can ask the school to submit a formal appeal to the exam board for you. You will need to provide a clear and detailed explanation of the rationale for appealing your grade.
The exam board will consider whether the school followed its written process and review the evidence your grade was based on. The exam board will only change a grade if they believe your grade is not a reasonable judgement or they find a mistake in the procedure which affected your grade.
Please be aware that a corrected grade could be higher or lower than the grade you were given on results day.
Students, parents and carers should also bear in mind that Ofqual have stated that there will be a 'very high threshold' for appeals to result in changes to grades, and that 'speculative' appeals should not be made.
To submit a Stage 2 appeal, please complete the form below no later than Friday 10th September.
Stage 2 Appeal Form (Students will be need to sign in using their Microsoft 365 account)
Re-sitting your GCSE Exams
Under current arrangements, students have the right to re-sit exams in the autumn term in subjects where you feel they have the potential to achieve a higher grade. The school can enter students for these exams, but if you are looking to join a college for post-16 studies, you are advised to discuss re-sitting exams with them as each college will have its own arrangements in place regarding the implications for start dates and enrolment.