18 August 2020

Good afternoon,

As many of you will have seen, following my update yesterday the government has changed the way in which grades will be awarded on Thursday.  Please read the statements from Ofqual and the government - they are the latest information that we have. 

To quote the government statement:  "On Thursday schools and colleges will inform students of their GCSE centre assessment grades, and official results will be released to students next week."

So we will email you your centre assessed grades on Thursday morning for your GCSE subjects just after 8am.  While this sounds simple, there are a couple of areas of confusion remaining.  Firstly, there is a statement which says that you will get your nationally standardised grade if it is higher than the one we gave you, but it is unclear whether you will get that on Thursday or whether you have to wait until next week!  Secondly, BTEC subjects (Enterprise, DIT and Health and Social Care, for us) do not have completely centre assessed grades - we were only asked to assess certain components of the qualification.  So the exam board has to calculate the final grade and tell us (and you) and it is unclear whether that grade will be available on Thursday morning.  I will update you as soon as I know the answers to these issues - they are national problems, not school ones. 

Broadly, the use of centre assessed grades is positive because I know that your teachers and heads of department and senior staff worked very hard and professionally to honestly and fairly work out the grade that they believe that you would have achieved in the exam.  Notice that they are "centre assessed grades", not "teacher assessed grades".  This is important because every decision made was checked and double-checked and discussed and debated by teachers, Heads of Department and members of the senior leadership team before being signed off by me.  They are the responsibility of the whole school, not individual teachers.   

Be very clear - my guidance on what do with the results stays the same - talk to your college or provider and then email us on resultsday@waltonledale.lancs.sch.uk if you would like support or guidance from us. 

Many of you will be very pleased with your grades, and you should be!  Lots of you were working very hard indeed! As I said yesterday, if you aren't happy with your centre assessed grade and believe you would have done better in the final exam then you need to enter for the exam in November.  There is no way to change the grades that were submitted to the exam board - they are our considered professional view on the grade that you would have got in the exam, carefully following the national guidance given, and as I said above they were thoroughly discussed and checked and are the responsibility of the whole school, not one teacher.  We can't have individual discussions about why you got one grade rather than another - that can't be changed - if you think you could get a better result enter for the exam in November.  Of course, as I said in my last email, if you consider that you have been discriminated against or subjected to bias then you will need to follow the school's complaints policy (on the website) - this would be a very serious matter and hopefully very rare.

Stay positive, talk to the colleges and get in touch (via resultsday@waltonledale.lancs.sch.uk) if you need us....

Best wishes

James Harris

Headteacher