Urgent Update – 03/04/2020
Dear parents and carers
I understand how unsettling the past weeks have been for you, since the announcement that exams have been cancelled this summer, and that you are urgently waiting for news. The exams regulator, Ofqual has this morning published some further clarification on how this year’s examination results will be calculated. We have sent to all Y11 and Y13 parents the letter that has been written by Ofqual explaining the details.
This letter explains how grades will be calculated. Tavistock College will be asked to send exam boards two pieces of information for each subject where a grade was expected. This information will be based on what teachers know about each student’s work and achievements. This information will be:
• The grade teachers believe students were most likely to get if teaching, learning and exams had happened as planned. Teachers will consider a range of things like classwork and homework; results in assignments and any mock exams; any non-exam assessment or coursework completed; and each student’s general progress during the course.
• The order of students at the school by performance, for each grade, for each subject. This information will be used to standardise judgements, allowing fine tuning of the standard applied across all schools and colleges in England. The final grade students get could be different from the ones we send to the exam boards due to this standardisation process.
Students and parents will not be allowed to see the grade that has been submitted to the exam boards as Ofqual have instructed us that this is confidential. Please do not send requests or ask teachers to tell you the grades they will be sending to the exam boards or where they have placed your child in the order of students: they will not be allowed to share this with you.
Final results are expected in August, although this date has yet to be published. Students and parents that are dissatisfied with the grades when they are release can ask for an alternative examination date to sit an examination. This could be in the Autumn term 2020 or the summer term 2021.
There is a link below that will take you to the detailed document published today by Ofqual should you have further questions, or want to read guidance in more detail.
Thank you for your patience in this matter, and for all your support
Please be aware of scammers
Further updates for parents – 26/03/2020
The Department for Education has now issued the guidelines and the process for awarding grades in light of the cancellation of examinations this summer. This is very similar to the guidance I gave two days ago but now we have now received it officially, I would like to pass the most relevant information on to you.
All schools will submit a calculated grade for each subject, for each student. The examinations regulator (Ofqual) will develop and set out a process that will provide students with a calculated grade which reflects their performance as fairly as possible. The exam boards will be asking teachers to submit their judgement about the grade they believe students would have received if examinations had gone ahead. Teachers will take into account a range of evidence and data including performance on mock examinations (PPEs) and non-examination assessment such as class work and coursework and will act upon clear guidance provided by Ofqual on how to do this fairly and robustly.
Unfortunately, in order to keep the process fair and consistent, we are not able to take into account any additional material or assessments which have been completed since school closure was announced except for on-going coursework tasks completed electronically from home and where exam board rules allow this to happen; in these cases, teachers will advise you of any relevant deadlines. Only some subjects have coursework elements. All teachers are able to answer email requests you might have, but please direct particular subject requests to the Head of Faculty. These can be found on our website if you are unsure of who to contact.
We know our students well, so please do not feel the need to email us in order to make the case for a particular grade. Please rest assured that the school has a robust system for moderating the data we will submit to the exam boards to ensure that all students are treated fairly.
Ofqual will calculate a final grade for each subject, for each student, based upon the information sent from the school and the prior attainment for each students at KS2. It is anticipated that these grades will be released by the end of July 2020.
The government is currently suggesting an opportunity to challenge outcomes if students wish and/or be given the opportunity to sit examinations at a later date (at the earliest reasonable opportunity, once schools are open again or in summer 2021). We have little information about this at the current time.
Free school meals:
We have now stopped a daily delivery service to families who are in receipt of free school meals. We are now delivering hampers once a week. This is to cut down on unnecessary travel and to allow families to devise their own meals. The hampers will contain fresh food. The first delivery will be tomorrow on Friday 27th March. Parents who are in receipt of free school meals will be contacted with a pick up point close to home.
Teachers are working hard to set and check work for your children. This is being set online through Class Charts and Google Classroom. We have been busily helping parents with logins and other IT requests. We are aware that there is more work being set than some children can complete. Please do not worry about this. We do not intend to cause unnecessary stress to young people or families at this challenging time. It is perfectly acceptable for students to not complete everything, or to have days off. This is expected over the Easter Holiday. The work is there to help, not to make your lives difficult. Similarly, if you want more work, please just ask.
Thank you as ever for your ongoing support and for the positive messages sent to staff. They are working very hard, sometimes in difficult circumstances themselves from home, and appreciate the comments that you have made.