The Marches Academy Trust is proud of their Year 11 students in all secondary schools across the Trust. The young people have worked with their teachers and have been supported by their parents during these unprecedented times to gain outcomes that will enable them to start on their pathway for a successful future.

This year’s GCSE results had to be awarded differently from usual, after exams were unable to go ahead due to Covid-19. Schools were asked to use their professional experience to make a fair and objective judgement of the grades they believed a student would have achieved had they sat their exams this year, and to submit these centre-assessed grades (CAGs) to the relevant exam board.

Groups of teachers and leaders in each subject worked together to discuss and agree the centre-assessed grade for each student. They took into account a wide range of available evidence, including class work, mock exams and other records of student performance.

The intention was that the exam boards would then moderate the CAGs, to check that schools and colleges had approached this task consistently, before providing students with their final calculated grades. Unfortunately, the method they used to do this proved problematic, and was likely to lead to many grades being unfairly downgraded. The government therefore made the decision that GCSE students would be awarded whichever was higher for each subject – their CAG or their calculated grade.

Sarah Finch, CEO commented, “Congratulations to all of our students for everything they have achieved in this difficult year. We are extremely proud of our students who have shown resilience and staff who have shown great positivity in the face of uncertainty.  We have been through a roller coaster of emotions with our students and their parents as events unfolded this week. The process for awarding the grades has caused unnecessary confusion and stress for staff, students and parents. If the initial concept of centre assessed grades was used and trusted by exam boards, the young people of the country would have the certainty and reassurance they deserve that their grades are a true reflection of what they would have achieved. The teaching profession now should be trusted to work with the government to ensure that exams in the future are fair for all and are based on the learning and skills the individuals have secured not on an algorithm or measures that suit a statistician.

I wish our students every success for their futures and look forward to seeing many of them continue their education in one of our Sixth Forms.”

Applications for our Sixth Forms are still open for a September 2020 start and details can be found on each school’s website.