GCSE's 2020 letter from Principal

Dear Parents/Carers,

During this pandemic, students have had to adopt a different approach to their studies; it is a year like no other. The government published guidance to schools to clarify the procedures that would be put in place for the awarding of GCSEs, A Levels and equivalent qualifications for 2020. Please feel free to visit our website, which outlines the processes involved in detail. This website also has a series of FAQ’s that you may find useful.

I appreciate that it is very frustrating for students who have worked hard throughout their school years to be awarded grades based on statistics, rather than their work. As a school we are fortunate compared to other schools, as the outcomes have been very strong for the last four years. However, I appreciate that this may have impacted on your son or daughter.

On the 11th August, Gavin Williamson Education Minister announced that students could use mock results if they were not happy with the grades they were given. However 24 hours ago Gavin Williamson changed the decision and mock results will no longer be counted. I appreciate this is very confusing and as a Principal I have been flabbergasted with the last minute changes and the impact this is having on our students.

However I can confirm the following with yet another update:

Release of results: JCQ has announced that exam boards will provide all final centre assessed grades (or the calculated grade if higher) to schools and colleges on Wednesday, allowing students to receive their final grades as usual on Thursday. Therefore, today, students will receive a statement of their final results for each subject, which will automatically be the highest of either the centre assessed grade or the exam board’s moderated grade. We will not be issuing a separate statement of centre assessed grades as originally planned, as these grades will be the same as your final result or in some cases could have been lower. The exception to this will be for those students who have studied the Creative iMedia course. As the exam board have stated that these results will be available to schools on 25th August, today’s email will contain your centre assessed grade only. We will issue the final confirmed results to students upon our return to school in September which will be the higher of the centre assessed grade or the Ofqual moderated grade. Unfortunately Mr Williamson has added to the confusion as he has said students will get “teacher predicted grades”, however this is not the case and the written guidance is very clear about this; he is, in fact, referring to the “centre assessed grades”.

Appeals: The proposal that students could appeal based on their mock grades appears to have been removed. There does not appear to be any intention to allow students to appeal on the grounds of their school or college having internally moderated teachers’ assessments more robustly than other schools or colleges, or for centres to resubmit their CAGs. The implication, therefore, is that the grounds for appeal or complaint aren’t likely to differ significantly from those set out earlier this month. Therefore, schools can only appeal if there has been an administrative error.

Ofqual have announced that students wishing to resit exams can do this in October/November. We are still waiting to hear back from exam boards about the details including specific dates. However, the Department for Education has said that any resit will be free to the student and will incur no cost to you as an individual. Please refer to the exams statement information which is included in your results email, for details regarding resit requests and the associated deadlines for each exam series. Please email the following address to request a resit of any exams:

[email protected]

In the event that you have any further queries about the results process, please email:

[email protected]

For any support you may need please contact the staff members below who can discuss any queries you may have.

• Careers advice [email protected] or our external Careers Officer Louise Brazier [email protected]

• Sixth Form Admissions or UCAS support [email protected] or [email protected]

• Wellbeing support [email protected]

We will be in touch with you directly on the morning of your results to support you with your next steps, via the telephone number we have on your student record (priority 1 or 2). Please expect this call between 8.30am and 10am; this is likely to be a call from a withheld number. We will help you to make appointments with the necessary teams, should you need more specific support. From 10am onwards, you will still be able to contact us should you have any more questions, or need any more support on 01621 782377. We will have staff available to answer calls on this number between 10am and 1pm. However, email addresses as above will be available to respond to any queries you may have over the coming days.

Please also refer to my letter sent on the 18th August regarding sixth form admissions.

I would like to wish your son/daughter all the best for the future and I thank them for being resilient, accomplished and outstanding young adults.

Yours faithfully, Mrs Emma Baker



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