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How grades will be awarded. The government and exam boards have got it wrong.

(61 Posts)
bigvig Fri 03-Apr-20 16:15:02

Teachers will rank order students and award grades. The exam boards will then alter the grades so they are in line with the grades from the previous year group from that school/college. Each year grades in our area grades can fluctuate by 10-20% one way or another. So this year group can only do as well as last year's cohort. Fair?

OP’s posts: |
TeenPlusTwenties Fri 03-Apr-20 16:19:08

No, surely not, as they will be looking at cohort KS2 info too. So if this year's cohort is demonstrably better than last years then the grades can be demonstrably higher too.

What would be unfair would be to just take the school's word for the grades without any sense checking against school's previous results and cohort ability. Schools could just make it all up then.

Witchonastick Fri 03-Apr-20 16:19:58

So the best performing students grade will be adjusted to match the best performance from last year and all other students will then fall in line behind, matching last years?

Have I got that right?

TeenPlusTwenties Fri 03-Apr-20 16:21:15

Witch No. That is in my view not what they are doing (though it seems to be what the OP thinks).

jeanne16 Fri 03-Apr-20 16:23:51

I work in a small secondary school. We are in the situation where this year’s cohort is significantly stronger than last year. We are concerned that their grades may be affected detrimentally.

Piggywaspushed Fri 03-Apr-20 16:25:29

That is not exactly what the guidance says.

Piggywaspushed Fri 03-Apr-20 16:26:25

Jeanne there must be hard evidence for that?

ChloeDecker Fri 03-Apr-20 16:28:41

I disagree with the OP’s interpretation of the released guidance.
Don’t forget that in the guidance, the exam boards can use collated evidence such as mock exams and NEAs if they want to question a school/subject’s marks and this can be used to argue against past cohorts low grades (or high grades)

This is an inaccurate thread.

Cohle Fri 03-Apr-20 16:34:14

The OP's interpretation of the guidance is very misleading.

"^To make sure that grades are as fair as possible across schools and colleges, exam boards will put all centre assessment grades through a process of standardisation using a model being developed with Ofqual.^

^We will consult on the principles of our model shortly, but we expect it will look at evidence such as the expected national outcomes for this year’s students, the prior attainment of students at each school and college (at cohort, not individual level), and the results of the school or college in recent years. It will not change the rank order of students within each centre; nor will it assume that the distribution of grades in each subject or centre should be the same. The process will also recognise the past performance of schools and colleges. However, if grading judgements in some schools and colleges appear to be more severe or generous than others, exam boards will adjust the grades of some or all of those students upwards or downwards accordingly.^"

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/how-gcses-as-a-levels-will-be-awarded-in-summer-2020

Applepieco Fri 03-Apr-20 16:49:35

All I have learned from our Head of Dept, is that schools that have consistently over predicted for the last few years (A level) are very worried.

titchy Fri 03-Apr-20 16:50:51

Ofqual have got it pretty right. They're using all available data on the students, and taking into account expected attainment based on the cohort as a whole and attainment of the school as a whole. It is as fair as it can be and ensures that schools can't 'game' the system in anyway.

given that a lot of exams are incorrectly graded anyway I suspect this is not going to be any less accurate than if exams went ahead

Piggywaspushed Fri 03-Apr-20 17:09:38

I agree with your crossed out bit : interesting , isn't it! I reckon we are more accurate!!

titchy Fri 03-Apr-20 17:18:18

A colleague and I intend to compare predicted grades that come through UCAS (I work I a university) to those finally awarded to see what the difference is. Just for interest... blush

Havetonamechangeforthisone Fri 03-Apr-20 17:49:05

A comparison of predicted vs awarded grades would be VERY interesting to see titchy. Would love your report on it once done...

My DDs concern is that for one of her subjects the teachers have constantly been underpredicting her performance. Her 'maximum grade' prediction in Y10 for the end of Y11 was exceeded in her mock exam marks, but the UCAS grade remains the same prediction as it has been all along (since the start of Y10). In a previous year, one girl was graded 'D' in her mocks in this subject but achieved an A in the exam. Neither of us have any faith that this department will award in relation to the likely grade she would have achieved in an actual exam situation. We complained to the Head teacher before the end of Y10 about work not being marked, the staff being late or not turning up to lessons, feedback being negligible to non-existent etc... Past results for the department have been also 'all over the place, ranging from A* to E in a school in which the vast majority of students are achieving A*-A in all other subjects.
As she also seems to be towards the middle to lower end in a highly selective school, there's a fear that at the bottom of the rankings her grades are likely to be downgraded...
I have a feeling she is going to have to dig her heels in for the long slog of study to be able to sit the exams in Autumn. Frustrating!!

bigvig Fri 03-Apr-20 18:04:28

My understanding is still that teachers will award grades then the exam board will move grades up or down so they are in line with the results from last year. Although teachers are providing information to justify the grades given initially that won't alter the fact that grades will be altered to bring them in line with the previous year. I would love to be wrong about this as a teacher and a parent.

OP’s posts: |
Piggywaspushed Fri 03-Apr-20 18:18:15

UCAS grades are different from internal predicted grades, though.

TheEmojiFormerlyKnownAsPrince Fri 03-Apr-20 18:20:46

Exam boards will also look at previous years in the school and Alps if you do A level.

I can’t think of any other way to do it.

Schmedz Fri 03-Apr-20 18:23:56

What is Alps?

ChloeDecker Fri 03-Apr-20 18:27:19

Alps is a data tracking system that schools/Sixth Forms use

BackforGood Fri 03-Apr-20 18:28:09

You've over-simplified it @bigvig

Overall, comparative with previous cohort grades will be looked at - as they should - it needs to be seen to all be fair and above board. But that is one factor, amongst many.
If this year's cohort is that much more able than the previous year's cohort, then there will be evidence for that in their previous exams, both mocks, and GCSEs as well as course work etc.

ChloeDecker Fri 03-Apr-20 18:29:25

My understanding is still that teachers will award grades then the exam board will move grades up or down so they are in line with the results from last year.

Your understanding is wrong here, sorry. The exam boards will not look at a school’s last year’s results and do a direct comparison with this year’s grades and go yay or nay. They just won’t.

Schmedz Fri 03-Apr-20 18:43:59

Do all schools use Alps? Even indies? I read that they are also taking into account KS2 SATS results but my DD was abroad for primary school so didn't do any.

ChloeDecker Fri 03-Apr-20 18:48:42

Do all schools use Alps? Even indies? I read that they are also taking into account KS2 SATS results but my DD was abroad for primary school so didn't do any.

Even indies do some form of tracking such as through CATS tests so what you have heard is sort of correct but overall data from that far back, whether it is SATs or by other means.
Not every school will use Alps, some use Alis (a lot of indies use Alis)

TeenPlusTwenties Fri 03-Apr-20 19:08:01

KS2 results will be used on cohort basis anyway. Schools are the ones ordering the pupils and the exam boards won't change that. So an individual child not having KS2 results won't make any difference.

ChloeDecker Fri 03-Apr-20 19:17:19

No but the exam boards will be using it as part of their analysis

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