Navigating GCSE, A-Level and AS-Level results days 2020

07 August, 2020 : 17:45
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A huge congratulations to all the young people getting their GCSE, A-level and AS-level results over the next fortnight. In spite of all the disruption and worry caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the results will soon be in and regardless of whether they’re what you’re hoping for, a celebration is definitely in order!

You’ll probably find lots of questions come up over the next few days and weeks, so we’ve pulled together the information you need to support your child as they consider their next steps, with links to further help and guidance.

How are the GCSE and A-level grades 2020 calculated?

Your child’s school or college will have submitted a "centre assessment grade" to the exam boards based on their coursework, previous exams, homework and other relevant evidence. The grades submitted by the school are then standardised, taking into account teacher assessment for individual pupils plus the results of previous years’ intakes for the same subject.

Here’s a short video from Ofqual explaining the process for England and Wales.

The calculation process varies slightly in Northern Ireland, but is clearly explained by The Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) in these short podcasts.

The results slips and certificates will look the same as any other year.

How will my child get their GCSE and A-level results on results day?

Your child may get their results online, or the school may allocate a time slot for them to go in and collect their results. Check with the school if you haven’t received any information about this yet.

What can we do if we’re not happy with the grades?

If the results your child receives aren’t what you’d expected, don’t panic! With changes to grading, re-sits and the appeals process this year it’s understandable that your child may feel anxious, so offer them lots of reassurance then arrange to speak to their form teacher, head of year, or someone else at the school.

In England and Wales, individual pupils (and their parents) cannot appeal the results, however the school can appeal on your behalf, so if you’re not happy with the grades you must discuss this with the school. There will be the option to re-sit A-level exams in October and GCSE exams in November.

It always helps to be prepared, so if you’re reading this before the results come in, gather together as much relevant information as you can now, for example find out what your preferred school, college or university suggests for students who don't get the grades normally required for entry or to re-enter for AS/A Levels. Understanding the process and having a Plan B in place will help alleviate some of the potential stress for your child if they’re not happy with their results.

Here's where you'll find further details about re-sits and the appeals processes for England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

More information for parents and students

England: Ofqual have information for students and their families in their guide: ‘What to do if you have concerns or questions about your grades: student guide to appeals and malpractice or maladministration complaints’.

Northern Ireland: The CCEA has set up a dedicated results helpline which offers advice and guidance for students who are expecting their AS, A-Level and GCSE results over the next fortnight. The helpline will be in operation from 9am until 5pm, starting Wednesday 12 August to Wednesday 26 August.

Wales: Qualifications Wales provides information, support and resources for students and famlies.

Support for young people:

  • If your child is finding the wait for exam results stressful, Young Minds has tips from other young people who’ve been in their shoes.
  • A-level and AS-level results day 2020 guidance from Youth Employment UK - an independent, not for profit social enterprise founded in 2012 to tackle youth unemployment.
  • GCSE results day guidance from BBC Bitesize
  • UCAS undergraduate: Results
  • National Careers Service with options to speak to an adviser.

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A contribution from Parentkind staff. 

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