DESC Careers Information, Advice and Guidance Service

All GCSE, IGCSE, A Level, I A Level and BTEC Level 1,2 3 examinations were cancelled in IOM schools during the Summer Term 2021 and grades were determined by schools for students completing their courses in Year 11 and 13. This is part of the national picture across the United Kingdom, as well as many other countries around the world, and is the result of the impact of the Covid-19 global pandemic on education systems.

Different Examination Boards refer to these grades using different terms (Centre Determined Grades, School Assessed Grades or Teacher Assessed Grades) but the processes used to award grades will be similar to ensure that grading is fair.

Schools, as Examination Centres, have determining evidence-based grades under the rules specified by the different Examination Boards they work with. Examination Boards (as the Awarding Bodies) check these grades by undertaking moderation processes across their centres. Examination Boards will then award these moderated grades to students during an early August results period.

Please Note: The content below is based on the current information available from Exam Boards and is therefore subject to change.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will grades will be determined?

This year grades for Year 11 and 13 students who have completed courses will be determined by their schools as Examination Centres, instead of them sitting summer exams.

Grades have been be determined using a range of evidence that may have included coursework, mock examinations, homework, and class-based tests as well as other evidence produced during their courses.

Student grades will be holistic and have been determined as late in the academic year as practicable, but no later than early June. This is so students could undertake additional ‘in class’ assessments as needed in Island schools during the first half of the Summer Term in line with Exam Board deadlines.

Island Secondary schools have developed procedures in line with Exam Board requirements to ensure that grading is fair.

When will students find out their grades?

This year’s grades will be treated the same as any other year. It will be the Exam Boards that will issue finalised grades in August following moderation across Examination Centres. Schools will not know, or be allowed to tell their students their final subject grades, before the official results day.

This year’s results days will be:

Year 13 Level 3 Qualifications Tuesday 10th August 2021

For all Level 3 qualifications: A Levels, AS Levels, IA Levels, IAS Levels, BTEC Level 3

Year 11 Level 1 and 2 Qualifications Thursday 12th August 2021

For all GCSE, IGCSE, BTEC, OCR National and other Vocational qualifications at Levels 1 & 2

Does this change impact all Awarding Bodies and courses?

This change in how grades will be awarded to students completing their courses affects most general courses (IGCSE, GCSE & A-level) and technical courses (BTEC and OCR National Courses) at Levels 1, 2 and 3.

However, there are some vocational courses that require skills to be assessed through practical exams so these went ahead as normal.

Will exam certificates for Summer 2021 look different?

Exam certificates will look the same as any other year as the rules around the awarding of grades this year are stringent and highly regulated.

Will there be an appeal process for results Summer 2021?

There are robust procedures for ensuring grades have been awarded fairly. Exam Boards outlined the types of evidence required from schools to support grading decisions in different subjects as well as providing external quality assurance over the processes followed by schools.

However, if on receiving their results, a student feels that there has been some sort of error made whilst the school was determining their grade there will be an appeal process in place.

The appeal process is likely to vary slightly across Exam Boards and schools will advise of appeal procedures, if necessary, to individuals, as well as any cost attached. As in any other year, appeal processes can lead to grades staying the same , going up or down.

How will this change impact the summer term for Year 11 and 13 students?

Students in Y11 and 13 were in school up until mid-May and then, at the school’s discretion, some were allowed to go on study leave  in the lead up to TT week (this varied slightly from school-to-school).

This year’s official leaving date was Friday 28th May, but schools may have asked pupils to come in after that date to finalise assessments and complete work that helped determine their grade.

Being in school a bit longer this year helped support the positive progression of school leavers on to the next stage of their education, training or employment by ensuring that content had been delivered, and learning consolidated. There was also additional advice and guidance available for Year 11 and 13 this year to help them make good decisions and take positive next steps into further or higher education, training or employment on leaving school.

How do I keep updated?

School websites include up to date information for school leavers who will be receiving grades during the Summer 2021 results period :

Ballakermeen High School

Castle Rushen High School

Queen Elizabeth II High School

Ramsey Grammar School

St Ninian's High School

Support with positive next steps for Sixth Form Leavers Summer 2021 can be found here

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