The summer examinations series has been cancelled across the UK but, since education is a devolved issue, each nation is taking its own approach to awarding grades for candidates who will be unable to complete their examinations.

England: Grades will be awarded by teacher assessment and schools will be asked to rank students in order within each grade. Appeals are likely to be available only under limited circumstances. Results will be issued on the usual dates. The Department for Education in England is currently holding a consultation on the arrangements which is available for contributions until 29th April 2020. Among other things, the consultation considers the impact of equality assessments on teacher assessment, and whether pupils who were due to complete GCSEs while in year 10 should be included in the grading by teacher assessment arrangements. More information is available on the Department for Education website here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/exceptional-arrangements-for-exam-grading-and-assessment-in-2020

Northern Ireland: Grades will be awarded by teacher assessment and schools will be asked to rank students in order within each grade. AS Level grades will be awarded, but unlike the usual arrangements, these AS grades will not count towards the student’s final A Level grade. Results will be issued on the usual dates. More information is available from Northern Ireland’s Department of Education here: https://www.education-ni.gov.uk/news/minister-announces-arrangements-summer-examinations

Scotland: Schools will be required to submit their teacher assessments of estimated grades by 29th May 2020. This will be moderated to ensure consistency with results from previous years, and taking into account any evidence of prior attainment of students. Results will be issued by 4th August 2020, after which there will be a free appeals process available to schools and colleges. Further information is available on the Scottish Qualifications Authority website here: https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/93920.html

Wales: Grades will be awarded by teacher assessment, and the arrangements have been put in place for students who would have been completing GCSEs while in year 10, as well as those completing AS Level studies in year 12. Qualifications Wales has provided FAQs on GCSEs, AS and A Levels and vocational qualifications on their website here: https://qualificationswales.org/english/coronavirus---covid-19/frequently-asked-questions/gcses-as-and-a-levels/

Home Education: the cancellation of this summer’s examination series will cause serious difficulties for some home educated students. The DfE in England is aware of this issue, and is suggesting that, where students have been using distance learning courses, it may still be possible to award a grade on the evidence available. However, for children who have been studying independently and whose only connection with the examination centre has been to apply to sit the final exam on the premises, lack of evidence will make the awarding of estimated grades exceedingly difficult, if not impossible. In this case, students are advised to contact their examination centres and consider taking the Autumn series of examinations instead.