Exams 2020 - FAQ's

We are receiving lots of questions from students and parents regarding the cancellation of the summer exams and the process that will be used to calculate individual results. We understand how unsettling this is for everyone. In the background, our staff have been working hard to gather a whole range of data that we think may be used as evidence to support whatever grades are awarded on each subject and for each student. Individual subject teachers are not in a position to be able to answer the vast majority of questions on this issue. 


We expect further guidance to be issued in the near future, sometime before the Easter break. When this guidance is published, we will have a clear view of the work we need to do in order to provide Ofqual with the most secure and objective assessment information, as possible for each of our students. It must be emphasised that we will not be in a position to share any of the information with students or parents. We have set up this FAQ page to help students and parents to stay up to date with the latest information. If you can’t find the answer to your question or concern, please contact us by emailing exams2020@hccs.info


Q Is there anything I can do now to influence my final grades?


There is nothing that individuals can now do that will influence their final grades. This is a question that lots of students are asking individual teachers. Work is still being set and will be reviewed by teachers but it will not form part of the evidence used to calculate recommended grades.


Q If work now being set doesn’t count to my grades, why are we still having work set?


This is a very difficult time for everyone and we are trying hard to ensure that when we return to classroom learning, we have everyone at the level they need to be at as early in the new academic year as possible. This is really important in order to make your next steps on your learning or employment pathway as smooth as possible.


Q What is the latest guidance from the government, regarding the cancellation of exams?


Here is the link to the latest guidance. This detailed document was published on the 20th March, and as more details are released we will update these FAQ’s.


Q How will the right grade be calculated for my child?


We all agree that ethically and morally all students will get the results that they deserve, to enable them to progress to the next stage of their learning. We are using the latest guidance from OFQUAL (the exams regulator), the exam boards, as well as the guidance from the DFE. Whilst we are waiting for the final details of the process, we have been looking carefully at the vast range of evidence we already hold for students in year 11 and year 13. We expect to hear soon about the exact method of calculation and the further moderation processes that will be involved to ensure fairness for all students.


Q My child didn’t do as well as expected in the February trial examination. Are the final grades based just on this?


No. We are initially looking at a whole range of evidence, in line with the guidance we have been given. This includes interim report grades, national and local statistics for similar students, and teacher judgements, alongside trial examinations. 


Q Will universities, colleges and sixth forms accept these calculated grades?


Yes. These grades will be formal qualification grades, with the same status as those awarded in any previous year. 


Q What is happening with university admissions?


UCAS have an update page with the latest information for students, here.


Q Are you just awarding their students their predicted grades?


No. We are using a fair system for all. This will be in line with OFQUAL who have stated they want school to look at a broad range of evidence, including teacher assessment, trial exam results and prior attainment. We expect to get more definitive guidance very soon.


Q When are the grades being published?


The government recently stated that they intend to publish grades to students before the end of July. As we get more information on this we will update these FAQ’s. In the meantime, we are forbidden to discuss potential grades with individual students. There will be quality control measures in place to ensure that the grades awarded locally are in line with grades nationally.


Q What if I am unhappy with my grade?


There will be an appeals mechanism in place if a student does not believe that the correct process has been followed.  In addition, if they do not feel their calculated grade reflects their performance, they will have the opportunity to sit an exam, as soon as is reasonably possible after schools open again. Students will also have the option to sit their exam in Summer 2021. 

Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School

& Sixth Form College


Selkirk Drive

Holmes Chapel




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