Dear Parents and Carers,
Qualifications Update 20th August 2020
As you will be aware, the last week has been an extraordinary period of time with constant government changes taking place to both policy and practice in respect of this year’s examination series. At Wollaston school, as is the case nationally, this has led to considerable frustration and distress, as in some courses DfE decisions and guidance have only stood for a matter of hours before being reviewed and replaced.
The latest significant change was notified to us at 11pm last night and concerns BTEC and vocational qualifications which will now not be issued today as inequities in the Ofqual / awarding bodies algorithm have seemingly only been noticed at this incredibly late stage. This does apply to both Level 2 and Level 3 courses. These qualifications will now be re-graded and re-issued, and I will of course update parents as soon as I have any further information. As a school, we share the same frustration and distress that parents and students will feel. This is a situation that we genuinely have no control over and is incredibly disappointing.
In terms of other qualifications, this does mean that all of our GCSE and A level students will now be awarded either the grade that we submitted as a school on their behalf (CAGs), or the Ofqual calculated grade – whichever is the highest. This is to be welcomed, but it does seem incredible that this methodology was not used from the outset, which was of course our expectation as a school. As professionals, we are best placed to know the likely levels of achievement of each student and we submitted grades which were ethical fair, objective and internally standardised. These are the grades that our students deserve, and it is quite right that these are the grades that they will now receive.
GCSE Results 2020
The government and Ofqual change of approach was announced in time to enable us to distribute the correct official exam board qualification grades this morning. These are the highest of the Centre Assessed Grades (CAGs) or the Ofqual calculated grades.
I would like to wish all of our Year 11 students many congratulations on their successes and well- deserved grades. Although most students would have preferred to sit their exams, we recognise that they have worked incredibly hard over a number of years to achieve these qualifications and the national controversy must never overshadow that.
I would also like to thank all of our Year 11 students for their role as such positive members of our school community during their time with us and we wish them all every success in their chosen course of study next year.
Of course, most of our year 11 students will return to our sixth form and we look forward to welcoming them back to begin their post 16 studies with us – in our new way of working in September.
There are a number of students who achieved stunning sets of results and congratulations to
Harrison Wilson – 8 Grade 9’s, and 1 Grade 8
Eva Jennings – 7 Grade 9’s, and 2 Grade 8’s
Katie O’Neill – 7 Grade 9’s, and 2 Grade 8’s
Libby Garlick – 5 Grade 9’s, and 4 Grade 8’s
Samuel Johnson – 6 Grade 9’s, 2 Grade 8’s
George Donaghey – 4 Grade 9’s, 4 Grade 8’s, and 1 Grade 7
Lily Liddle – 6 Grade 9’s, 2 Grade 8’s, and 1 Grade 5
Lilly Moore – 4 Grade 9’s, 4 Grade 8’s, and 1 Grade 7
Amy Halsall – 5 Grade 9’s, 1 Grade 8, and 3 Grade 7’s
Amy Harris – 2 Grade 9’s, 7 Grade 8’s
Callum Jenkins – 3 Grade 9’s, 5 Grade 8’s, and 1 Grade 6
A Level Results 2020
As has been the case nationally, it is our A-level students who have borne the brunt of the significant issues caused by the DfE and Ofqual algorithm approach to grading students. Whilst this was obviously not a situation of our making, we have shared the frustration and anger of students and families who had not been treated fairly or equally by the Ofqual and Department for Education awarding system. Given the announcement that Centre Assessed Grades will now rightly be awarded to students, we have a significant number of students whose grades will now improve, from their original award and we congratulate every student on their new and fair grades. We are pleased that students have now been awarded the grades that as a school we originally sent to the exam boards, but we are disappointed that it took so much distress and frustration to arrive at this position.
This continues to be a quite unprecedented year, in so many different ways. As we have done throughout at Wollaston School, we will work to provide the best education possible in the safest way possible. In the midst of the national noise and controversy which is likely to continue as we approach full school opening in September, we will continue to be focused on making Wollaston School an environment which is as positive and as safe as possible. In advance of the return, we would be grateful if you could remind students of the new arrangements and guidance published at the end of last term.
A link can be found HERE
In the meantime, please do enjoy the rest of the summer holiday and we trust that despite the circumstances, students can celebrate such well-deserved excellent achievements in their GCSE, A Level (and in due course BTEC) qualifications.
Mr J Birkett