How should exam grades be fairly awarded to students in 2021? We’d like to hear your views in our survey on how next year’s GCSEs and A levels should be awarded, as BCS Head of Education Niel McLean explains.
With exams cancelled for summer 2020, Ofqual has recently consulted on the arrangements for awarding grades in 2020 and we’d like to thank CAS members for contributing to our response.
While it was clear that 2020 could not be a ‘normal year’ for GCSEs and A levels, it is also clear that several factors may have an impact on GCSEs and A levels the following year.
- During the current period, students' access or lack of access to independent and remote learning activities and school provision may influence the degree to which they can be prepared properly for examinations in 2021.
- As pupils return to school, restrictions may still be in place such as social distancing and the number of pupils in each class.
We are keen to start thinking through possible implications for the Computer Science 2021 exam series for both GCSE and A Level, and we would like to hear your ideas to make the examinations both fair and accessible.
We’d like to stress that this is to shape our thinking so that we are properly informed by CAS members’ views should the opportunity to present them arise rather than anything more formal.
Our aim is to answer the question 'What should be done with regards to the 2021 examination series for computing subjects to ensure that all candidates are treated fairly and achieve the results they deserve?’
We plan to develop our thinking on this challenging matter through a three-stage process:
- Firstly, we want to consult with the CAS members to ensure we have captured all the challenges that schools may face preparing for and delivering GCSE and A level examinations in Computer Science, together with CAS members’ views a set of principles which should underpin how they should be delivered. We will do this through a consultation questionnaire which may be found here.
- Secondly, we will analyse the responses to that questionnaire to formulate a set of ideas on how to minimise the impact of the disruption on students and schools.
- Thirdly, we plan to further consult with CAS members on these ideas, inviting further suggestions.
We will keep CAS members informed throughout the process. Please get involved by responding to our initial questionnaire.