Y11 Awarding GCSEs FAQ

Dear Parents/Carers and Students,

Thank you to those parents and pupils that have contacted the School regarding the Awarding of GCSEs this summer.

We have used these queries to put together this communication to hopefully answer your current questions.

I hope that students have been engaging with the documentation issued in March to support them in preparing for further education. We will be shortly issuing further subject guidance – ‘bridging work’ to support the transition from GCSE to Further Education courses. We are grateful to our partnership schools with Sixths Forms that have shared their resources with us.

Unfortunately, we cannot provide clarification for some of your queries as the DfE and Ofqual (Exam Board Regulators) have still not released the details.  Consultation about the process of awarding GCSE grades this summer ends on 29th April although we do not know as yet when the findings will be published.

The information below represents our current understanding to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing this email. We understand that these are difficult times for pupils, staff and parents and we will do all we can to support our community through these challenges.


Will students need to submit incomplete coursework or exercise books to assist in the allocation of grades?

No, the school cannot accept any work, coursework or any other evidence submitted by parents or pupils after the date of school closure (March 20th). ​Students are not required, nor should they continue to work on any aspect of their GCSE courses for the purpose of submitting that work. ​However, students may wish to continue with GCSE content to support further study and their transition to college/placements.

To ensure that the school does not breach exam board regulations, we respectfully ask that you do not contact staff regarding the allocation of GCSE grades. The regulations require schools to report any parent or student that puts pressure on a teacher to influence grades and this may be investigated by the board as malpractice.


How will the Year 11s receive their exam results in the summer?

The release date for grades is Thursday August 20th and the details of how these will be communicated have not been released by Ofqual. ​We would dearly like to organise our results day along the same lines as usual i.e. students  attend school after 10am on Thursday 20th August to pick up results envelopes – staff present to answer queries. This will clearly depend on the safety of students, parents and staff and we will communicate our plans nearer the time.


What is the procedure for students that may have been eligible for special consideration or qualified for access arrangements?

There are no special considerations for this exam season. Instead, Ofqual have stated, ‘judgments should reflect how the students would have performed under ordinary circumstances’. If  Students have qualified for access arrangements judgments should reflect the grades that students would achieve with the access arrangements in place.


When do Year 11 students have to decide if they want to sit exams in Autumn 2020? Can they wait until they have received their results in the summer to apply? Where will they sit those exams?

We do not have any further clarification about arrangements for pupils who wish to sit exams in the Autumn apart from that students will have an opportunity to sit the exams should they choose to.


Will there be an appeals process?

Our understanding at present is that there will be an appeals process following the release of grades but that this will be confined to  whether exam centres adhered to a robust process during the calculation of the grades i.e. parents will not be able to query individual grades.

The full Ofqual documentation can be found here:



I do hope that your families are well and look forward to catching up with you in person hopefully in the not too distant future. It is still our intention to have a gathering as soon as permissible to celebrate all the many notable achievements of  our wonderful Year 11.

Kind regards

Matt Ashdown

Deputy Headteacher

Downlands Community School