That for the moment is the end of the 2020 exams debacle.

I think you all know how the grades were managed but here’s a brief summary.

Student work was marked and graded throughout the course.

Sometimes the students were given predicted grades which were what the student would achieve if they worked with us and made the most of the extra classes and interventions.

On lockdown we had to predict grades and rank students within grades.

Departments moderated those grades. It is in our nature to hope for the best and we all have memories of students who could get a B grade but then fell short in the final exam.

We had our grades checked by The Fisher Family Trust who confirmed our accuracy in relation to previous years’ results. Remember that we overachieve every single year as a school and our students do better than they would do in other schools (Ofsted 2017)

The grades were collected and managed by Ofqual who were under strict instructions from the government that there must be no “grade inflation” this year. Just there, the predictions – even if a little hopeful – were going to go down.

Then the algorithm got to work and this allocated grades according to the school’s performance during the previous two or three years and according to different students’ previous results, with perhaps different teachers in each subject.

And then, as you know, the computer said “no” to almost 50% of students’ grades nationally and to 21% of Chauncy’s.

Outcry from lots of people and the U Turn happened.

A Level students have now got the best of their original result last week or their CAG (Centre Assessed Grade)

Year 13 BTec students have currently got their original result from last Thursday but they are looking again at the grades and may give higher grades….soon. This is because BTec students were not upgraded this week and were therefore disadvantaged compared to A Level students where up to 50% of grades have been raised.

Year 11 students have now got their CAG.

Year 11 BTec grades are being re-examined by BTec and the results – a left alone CAG or a new (higher) grade will be out soon.

Cambridge National subjects and student grades are not released yet but are being reconsidered very soon.

Students with questions email

Students wishing to appeal against their grades – which are the ones we gave as a CAG – may be able to do so.  I’m not sure we have the criteria, procedures and charges yet but we will let you know how to do it and who to pay when we are informed.

Our students were going to do well this year because all but a few worked with us. They really did earn the grades we allocated and then the small matter of a pandemic messed them up. They really can look forward to entering college and 6th Form classes confident that they have the ability and we have the experienced, successful staff to help them achieve their best. Our new Year 12 students are better prepared than ever before, others have got their college places and the Year 13 leavers all look like they are off to do, I hope, wonderful things. It is worth noting that it was the fuss and noise created by young people that helped force the improved results system. Good luck to you all.

I will be talking about this on East Herts Radio on Gaby Wilde’s show tomorrow, a very local station which I am delighted to promote.

Dennis O’Sullivan (Headteacher)