Dear Parents, Carers and Guardians,

I hope you and your families are safe and well, I understand this is a difficult time for many of you and especially our young people who have continued to have their education disrupted. I am conscious that for our students and you understanding how final grades will be awarded for GCSE’s and the vocational qualifications is important. Especially for our year 13 students who will be progressing to University, Apprenticeships or into employment whom I know this is a stressful time. Can I please reassure you that Cyrus Armstrong-James the Director for Curriculum and Quality will be working closely with tutors to have all grades submitted by the 29th May, the deadline set by the Department for education.

Please see below a brief summary of how grades will be decided and a link to the governments website.

Grade calculation for the Academic year 2019-20 will be driven by teacher assessment prior to the closing of schools, alongside prior attainment by the learner. For GCSE and Functional Skills qualifications, teachers will look at the work achieved by students and then rank them within each grade. For example, for all students that the teacher believes will get a grade 4, they will be ranked from best to worst within that grade. If it is for functional skills the same applies, but for pass or fail. That list is then sent to the DFE for moderation across the country before grades are awarded. This is to ensure that some schools are not more generous than others. Schools are subsequently not permitted to give students their grades, as they could change during this exercise. Teachers must submit grades online from the 29th May, with release of final grades on the August release day. Vocational Qualifications have indicated a similar procedure, but details and dates have yet to have been released by OfQUAL. The government have also requested that the emphasis in the 2020/21 academic year should be on supporting students to catch up after a very disrupted last two terms, move forward and succeed on their new programme rather than seeking to improve on a grade awarded in 2020. 

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

Timetables for students will continue to be sent by tutors and posted on our website with work and tasks for students, please do encourage them to complete them. Tutors will continue to call them every week to check in and update them on academy information. We will after the May half term be confirming the year 13 places for year 12 students and working with the students who are graduating from the academy to ensure they are supported.

Nick Iszakovits our Director for student Inclusion is also calling all students who may be vulnerable or who have SEND needs to ensure they are supported and have access to everything they need, if you have any safeguarding concerns please do call the academy who will put you in touch with Nick to discuss.

Please continue to encourage your young person to practice social distancing and to stay safe and I hope in the near future to be able to update you with the planned re-opening of the academy for the new academic year.

Best wishes

Sacha Corcoran MBE
Academy Principal 

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