'Getting the grades they've earned' Education Select Committee - AoC responds

14 Jul 2020

The Education Select Committee has published its report into the grading system for this year's summer exam series, Getting the grades they’ve earned: Covid-19: the cancellation of exams and ‘calculated’ gradesAoC's Senior Policy Manager, Eddie Playfair has responded:

"Once public exams were cancelled this summer, the only practical alternative was to move to a system based on centre assessed grades, adapted assessments and statistical adjustment. Producing centre assessed grades and rankings created an enormous additional workload for college staff and they have responded brilliantly, drawing on all the available sources of evidence of student achievement and moderating their judgements carefully. This summer’s results will be based on a robust process and should be seen as valid across the board and celebrated on results day.


Obviously no system is perfect, and this year’s results do not have the benefit of exam marks to make them more objective. The Select Committee is right to be concerned about the possibility that disadvantaged and BAME student could be disadvantaged this year and it is essential to have full transparency about the impact of this year’s systems on different groups of students. 


England’s high-stakes exam system is overdependent on externally set, terminal written exams and in the longer term we need to consider how to draw on a wider range of evidence of students’ knowledge and skills. Reforming exams could also make the system less vulnerable to shocks like the Covid-19 pandemic."

You can read the full publication from the Select Commitee here.