Consultation outcome

Requirements on setting GCSE, AS and A level grade boundaries

This consultation has concluded

Download the full outcome

Detail of outcome

We have decided, from 24 June 2016, to implement our Conditions, requirements and guidance for:

  • pre-reform GCSE (A* to G) qualifications
  • pre-reform AS and A level qualifications
  • reformed AS and A level qualifications

From this date, the following sections of the ‘GCSE, GCE, Principal Learning and Project Code of Practice’ will no longer apply:

  • Section 6 – Awarding, maintaining an archive and issuing results
  • Appendix 2 – Grading for GCSEs that do not use uniform marks
  • Appendix 3 – Aggregation and grading for qualifications that use uniform marks

We have published the following new and revised documents which formally introduce our new rules and guidance:

  • GCE Qualification Level Conditions and Requirements (revised)
  • GCE Qualification Level Guidance (revised)
  • Pre-reform GCE Qualification Level Conditions and Requirements (revised)
  • Pre-reform GCE Qualification Level Guidance (new)
  • GCSE (A* to G) Qualification Level Conditions (new)
  • GCSE (A* to G) Qualification Level Guidance (new)

Feedback received

Analysis of Responses to our Consultation on Requirements on setting GCSE, AS and A level grade boundaries

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Detail of feedback received

There were 13 responses to the consultation. Four were from awarding organisations, two were from schools or colleges. Three were from subject associations or other learned societies, one was from a representative group for schools and colleges and one was from a charity and membership organisation. There were two personal responses.

Respondents generally supported our proposals. These rules are intended to largely replicate the process that exam boards already follow and respondents welcomed this consistency with the current approach.

Original consultation

This consultation ran from to

Summary

A consultation about the rules and guidance for the grading of legacy GCSEs, AS and A levels, and reformed AS and A levels.

Documents

Consultation description

We are putting the new requirements in place because we are withdrawing the Code of Practice which contains the current rules for the GCSE (A* to G) qualifications and legacy AS and A levels. The new requirements reflect those in the Code. We are applying the same provisions to reformed AS and A levels.

Following analysis of responses to our consultation in December, we propose to implement the proposals in relation to setting specified levels of attainment on which we consulted.

We will therefore reflect some, but not all, of the current requirements in new rules and guidance when we withdraw the Code of Practice. In addition, we will introduce high-level requirements about the sort of evidence exam boards should take into account when setting grade boundaries.

We are introducing a qualification-level condition which requires exam boards to comply with any requirements that we set in relation to setting specified levels of attainment.

We are introducing a qualification-level condition requiring exam boards to have regard to an appropriate range of evidence when setting specified levels of attainment. We will support this with guidance providing examples of such evidence.

We are putting in place qualification-specific requirements about the way in which grade boundaries should be set. These will largely replicate what is in the appendices to the Code of Practice.

These are the proposals on which we previously consulted. We are not introducing any additional requirements beyond those on which we have already consulted.