This information is subject to revision as information emerges from the Department for Education regarding any changes made to the previously published guidance.
Important Principal’s Update: Thursday 20th August 2020
A week is a long time in Politics’ (attributed to British PM Harold Wilson)
A Level Results Day was Thursday 13th August 2020
GCSE Results Day is Thursday 20th August 2020
In the absence of A Level examinations, A Level students received an Awarded Grade in each subject, in theory based on the Centre Assessed Grade (CAG) from their subject teacher, moderated by the examination board, using an algorithm provided by Ofqual. This moderation was intended to ensure that at the individual subject level, the A Level grades awarded this year were comparable with the average profile of grades awarded in the subject across the last three years, 2017-19. The moderation was also designed to prevent grade inflation at A Level across England.
This moderation led to the adjustment downwards of nearly 40% of Centre Assessed Grades nationally, and also at Huddersfield New College.
This adjustment downwards hit hardest the large A Level centres, in particular, Sixth Form Colleges, such as Huddersfield New College. 19% of all students in Sixth Form Colleges received lower A Level grades than their similarly qualified peers in any of these three previous years. This was not meant to happen. As stated above, their results were meant to be comparable with the results of their similarly qualified peers across these previous three years.
The algorithm underpinning the moderation process had been successful in preventing grade inflation at A Level across England but it had failed spectacularly in ensuring the year on year comparability of A Level results at a subject level, and at an individual student level.
This adjustment downwards of almost 40% of A Level grades nationally meant that a significant number of A Level students in England were not only very disappointed with their Awarded Grades, but sadly lost their place at their first choice or insurance university.
This understandably led to anger from students, their families and their teachers, and a national campaign was launched, led for us by the Sixth Form Colleges Association, to right this injustice.
On Monday 17th August, this national campaign met with success, when at 4pm on this day the Chief Executive of Ofqual announced that all A Level students in England would receive the Centre Assessed Grade submitted to the examination board by their subject teacher (or for the small minority, their Awarded Grade from Thursday 13th August, if this was higher), as their final A Level grade.
So from 4pm on Monday 17th August, your final A Level grade in each A Level subject is your Centre Assessed Grade (or for a small minority, your Awarded Grade, if this is higher), and these are available to view on CEDAR.
Level 3 Btec Qualifications
Level 3 Btec Qualifications were not included in the announcement from Ofqual on Monday 17th August.
Pearson (the awarding body for Btecs) announced yesterday that they will now review the grading of Level 3 Btec qualifications.
They will remove the Awarded Grades they applied to any examined units, and will apply instead the Centre Assessed Grade. They will then recalculate and, where appropriate, regrade the overall Btec grade. Once this process is complete, they will re-issue the recalculated and, where appropriate, regraded Level 3 overall Btec grade.
This will only apply to a minority of Level 3 Btec grades at the College because the College predominantly offers QCF Btec qualifications at Level 3 which are assessed fully through internal coursework assignments.
However, if this recalculation and regrading does apply to you, and your Level 3 overall Btec Grade is re-issued to us, we will inform you immediately.
We fully understand how stressful the last few days have been for you and your families, and we wanted to reassure you that we will continue to do all that we can to support you, both now and in the future. The FAQs below try to answer some of questions you may now have after this U turn from the government , but if you have further questions, please email us at email@example.com
You can also contact us if you have any specific queries about what this might mean for your university place. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will forward your query to the Careers team, who will then contact you to discuss your query.
Following the U turn which led to the awarding of Centre Assessed Grades at A Level ( or Awarded Grade, if this was higher), GCSE grades at the College will automatically be the Centre Assessed Grades (or the Awarded Grade, if this is higher).
These will be issued today.
Level 1 & Level 2 Btec Qualifications
The overall grades for these Btec qualifications will not be issued today.
Pearson (the awarding body for Btec) are subjecting these qualifications to the same review process as the one taking place at Level 3 ie the Awarded Grade for any examined units are being replaced by the Centre Assessed Grade and the overall grade is being recalculated, and were appropriate, regraded.
We do not yet have a timeframe for the issue of the reviewed and, where appropriate, recalculated Level 1 & Level 2 Btec grades but as soon as we know this, we will let you know. Please do not worry about your internal progression, we will try and clarify this for you as soon as is possible.
Huddersfield New College’s Centre Assessed Grade process
The College's Centre Assessed Grade guidance table summarises the rigorous process through which the College's Centre Assessed Grades for Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications were calculated, and how each individual student's place in the rank order for each subject was determined, to meet the strict Ofqual requirement that all grades awarded at the College at a subject level were comparable with the three year historic average of subject at the College.
This information is available by clicking here.
Where can I locate my Centre Assessed Grades?
These are available to view on CEDAR
What do I do if my Level 3 Final Grade profile now meets the entry criteria for my first choice or insurance choice university?
There were 10,000 additional places this year across the university sector.
In an economic recession, such as the one we are now in officially, the best investment you can make for your future economic health and prosperity, is to progress to university.
And our advice to you about progressing to university remains constant, that you should not play safe when making your choice of university, but that you should aspire to progress to the best university you can, with the A Level grades you achieve.
This was not possible for many of you on results day because of the adjustment downwards of your Centre Assessed Grades, and so you lost your place at your first choice university, and for some of you, even your insurance choice university, and you had to go into clearing.
This has also been recognised by the DfE who have today lifted the cap on student numbers for universities, meaning all universities can expand, and will be funded for this expansion.
If you lost your place at your first choice or insurance choice university, on the basis of your Awarded Grades, you are advised to contact this university as a matter of urgency, with your revised Final A Level grade profile, based on your Centre Assessed Grades, to see now that the cap on student numbers has been lifted, if they can accommodate you this year. The universities have been told by the government and the DfE to ‘go above and beyond’ to honour their original commitment to you, and to try to find you a place. But many universities are already warning that it may not be possible to retrieve all first or insurance choice places, even with the student number cap removed, because of capacity, staffing, placement and resource constraints, in a Covid-19 situation, with Social Distancing measures in place.
They may instead offer you a place for 2021.
Remember when making what might be a difficult choice about when and where to go to university, your long term economic health and prosperity is best promoted by going to the best university you can, with the results you have.
If you do decide to defer your place until next year, to follow this advice, or your preferred university asks you to defer your place until next year, please contact us at email@example.com as we may be able to offer you a Pre University Year 14 at the College, at the heart of which will be an independent piece of research, to help prepare you for degree level study.
What if I am not happy with my A Level Centre Assessed Grades, can I still appeal them with my mock results?
Mock results will no longer be allowed to be the sole basis of an appeal.
What else can I do if I am not happy with my A Level and/or my GCSE Centre Assessed Grades?
It is important to remember that the A Level and GCSE Centre Assessed Grades at the College were calculated to a very strict criteria set out by Ofqual, which required that all A Level and GCSE Centre Assessed Grades at a subject level had to be comparable with the historic three year (2017-19) average of the results of the subject.
This strict criteria meant it was very difficult for subject staff to award these grades, and they have done so with the utmost professional integrity. They have genuinely tried to award you the fairest A Level and/or GCSE Centre Assessed Grade they were able to do so, within the constraint of the strict Ofqual criteria.
The grounds for appealing such grades, therefore, have been limited by Ofqual.
If you are unhappy with your Centre Assessed Grades, you can only appeal them on two grounds:
- that you feel your subject teacher has shown ‘bias or discrimination’ to you in awarding this grade. Evidence of this personal ‘bias or discrimination’ will need to be provided for the appeal
- that there has been an administrative error in the submission of your Centre Assessed Grade to the examination board or awarding of your Centre Assessed Grade. Please note that this is the only appeal route available to GCSE students.
Ofqual has published the criteria for the appeals process. Please click here to read this ***This was updated and reissued Wednesday 26th August 2020***
Please click here to access the appeals form, the HNC deadline for appeals is 7th September 2020 (to allow the College to process your request and gather relevant evidence before the external deadline of 17th September) and appeals, with relevant evidence should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
The only other two options you have, if you are unhappy with your A Level and/or GCSE Centre Assessed Grades, and believe they do not fairly reflect your ability, is:
- to sit your A Level and/or GCSE exams in the Autumn term (free of charge), please see below for further information on this option
- to resit Year 13 (for A Level students only), please see below for further information on this option
When will I formally receive my new Centre Assessed Grade certificates?
There is no date as yet as to when the formal Centre Assessed Grade certificates, detailing your updated A Level and GCSE grades, will be issued.
Can I still sit my A Level or GCSE examinations, if I want to?
The autumn exam series is an opportunity for students who either did not receive a Centre Assessed Grade for an individual subject (usually external candidates where there was insufficient evidence to award one), or for students who want to try to improve their Centre Assessed Grade, to sit their A Level and/or GCSE exams (free of charge)
Please note these exam grades will be based solely on exam performance. There will be no non-examined assessment, and grades from previous non-examined assessments cannot be carried forward. So, for example, in Art & Design subjects, your A Level grade will be based entirely on the performance in a new supervised task, set and marked externally by the exam board.
For A Level students, those who choose to sit their A Level examinations in the Autumn term should be looking to start their university studies in the following Autumn, September/October 2021 because results will not be published until December 2020 at the earliest. An exception to this may be where a university course has a January or February 2021 start date.
The A Level exams will take place in the period 5th - 23rd October 2020.
The GCSE exams will take place in the period 2nd November - 23rd November 2020.
If you wish to sit an A Level exam in the Autumn exam series, you can apply to do this from Monday 17th August through to Tuesday 1st September.
If you wish to sit a GCSE exam in the Autumn series, you can apply to do this from Monday 17th August through to Tuesday 22nd September.
Please note the preparation for these external examinations will be largely independent preparation.
Following the publication of these A Level and GCSE results as we expect in December 2020, you will be able to choose the higher of your Centre Assessed Grade or your Autumn Examination Grade as your final A Level and/or GCSE grade.
Can I apply for a Year 13 Resit Year?
For a very small number of A Level students, disappointed with their A Level Centre Assessed Grade profile, resitting the full year 13 may be a possibility.
It is important to note that Year 13 Resit places will be extremely limited, and will only be offered in subjects where spaces are available in planned year 13 A Level classes. In order to be considered for a Year 13 Resit year, you must have displayed exemplary attendance, behaviour and attitude to learning throughout your time at HNC.
Please note this option should only be considered if all other progression options from College, including applying to university through clearing, have been explored but have not been successful.
Please note this opportunity has now closed.
How can I find out my place in the individual subject rank order?
If you would like to know your place in the individual subject rank order, you will need to make a specific subject data access request. Please note that the rank order cannot be used for any appeal purpose. To make a subject data access request, please click here to access the relevant data protection area of our website.