Pupils across Essex will receive their GCSE results today (Thursday 20 August), following a period of unusual circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and weeks of uncertainty around how GCSE grades would be determined this year.
The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) finally confirmed this week that this year’s GCSE grades have been awarded using the centre assessment grade from schools and colleges, rather than those calculated through a standardised algorithm.
However, if students’ calculated grades are higher than the centre assessment grade, their calculated grade will stand. This means that no pupils will receive downgraded results.
Similar to this year’s A-Level results, this year’s GCSE grades will not be used for performance tables for schools, colleges or local authorities and Essex County Council (ECC) will not be publishing its usual headline figures.
Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “The past few months and particularly the past few weeks, have been a very stressful time for lots of young people who should have been preparing for their GCSE exams this year.
“I hope that following the latest announcement on grading, young people feel reassured by the results they receive this week and I would like to congratulate everyone collecting results today on their achievements.
“Young people and everyone working within a school or other educational setting have shown an incredible amount of resilience over the past few months and I wish those receiving their results the best of luck as they decide on their next steps.”
If young people need further support around employment and apprenticeships, it is available from the Essex Youth Service from Thursday 20 August onwards. They can be contacted on 0800 707 6384.
Schools and colleges are preparing to open for all pupils in September. Measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 are in place, and next year’s exams are scheduled to take place, with some adjustments.