Awarding grades

In these unprecedented times, our schools are, for the first time, faced with awarding grades to children who were due to sit public examinations. This may well feel like a heavy responsibility for school staff, who will want to do what is best by the children that they know but also ensure that they are awarding grades fairly and transparently.

Your role as Governor or Trustee

As Governors or Trustees your role is to ensure that the process that your schools put in place for awarding these grades is robust and will stand up to the inevitable challenge that will be placed upon it, without being involved in any detailed planning.

For secondary schools, the senior leadership team can use guidance provided by Ofqual for GCSE, AS & A levels; however there is less information and support available for the primary sector at present.

You should be briefed on what process your Senior Leadership Team have decided upon and as a Governing Body or Board of Trustees you should be given the opportunity to review the method and challenge any assumptions. You may want to ask questions around whether grades will be moderated and how this will be carried out. Ultimately, the governing board needs to be assured that the methodology that has been put in place for deciding on awarded grades is fair and stands up to challenge.

Inevitably there will be queries or complaints received in relation to this process and so you will need to be prepared to respond to these with certainty in the procedures that you have put in place.

Penny Levack

Penny Levack

Penny has more than ten years’ experience in the classroom, in assessment design, and in leadership roles in both schools and universities. Her most recent role before joining Juniper Education was in governance, compliance, and communications in a multi-academy trust in South London. Penny is a governor herself and is passionate about school governance and the impact that it can have on school improvement. She has a degree in Education Studies from the University of Cambridge.