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Important announcement about results - 20 August 2020

We are very pleased that the government has made a clear decision to use our centre assessment grades (CAGs) as the basis for your A level results rather than the flawed algorithm. This will affect a large number of our students.

Ofqual has clarified that students will be awarded the highest grade in each subject:  the centre assessment grade or the result received last Thursday, whichever is the higher.

Students will be aware of their official centre assessment grades, as these were emailed on Friday 14 August, with an explanation as to how the grades were arrived at.  This email included both the centre assessment grades and the calculated grades published on Results Day.  Students should not worry if the original grade was higher – the higher grade will stand.

Exam boards will be issuing revised results as soon as possible. We have already issued students with their CAGs and rank order. This was sent by email on Friday 14 August from an official college email account. This should suffice in the short term as evidence until we are able to send the official corrected results.  Please rest assured that we will send out corrected results as soon as possible.

Special note regarding non-A level subjects

The information detailed above relates only to A level subjects; however, the exam boards are adjusting BTEC results.  These corrected results will be emailed to the students affected as soon as possible.

Breaking news from the press on how this affects university places

The recently announced plan to cap the number of students English universities can recruit is to be removed, the Department for Education has just confirmed.

A spokesman said those pupils who missed out on places at their first choice institutions will be asked to go back and speak to them about reversing that decision if their new grades are good enough – and ministers will expect universities to be flexible.

In order to create extra capacity, the planned cap will not apply. This refers also to a limit on the number of students from England who can enrol at universities in WalesScotland and Northern Ireland.


Our priority is to ensure our students are able to progress on to their next steps in their education and careers. We understand that this is a very worrying time for some students who are trying to finalise their plans. On 19 August Ofqual published an updated guide to the appeals process following the announcement that students will be awarded their centre assessment grades if they are higher than their calculated grades. We updated the college appeals process on 20 August. This document is available below.

Teachers have been instructed not to respond to emails regarding CAGs or rank orders. We ask students and their parents not to contact teachers directly to enquire about how CAGs were calculated. Please refer to the information detailed below which explains the process to determine CAGs. 

All appeal queries are being dealt with by the Appeals Administration Team. We will treat all appeals as a matter of urgency.

Please note that you may no longer appeal using your mock exam grade and you are unable to challenge or appeal your CAG.

College appeals process

Guide to centre assessment grades (CAGs) - updated 20 August

Latest information from Ofqual regarding examination results:

General guidance

There are two sections on this page:

  1. Information for current students and those who have just finished year 13
  2. Information external / private candidates

Information for current students and those who have just finished year 13

The way grades have been assessed in 2020

The college submitted ‘centre assessment grades’ (CAGs) and a rank order within each grade for all exam entries. These CAGs have been processed by the examination boards who used a statistical model to award a final grade.

The college’s approach to centre assessment grades

The centre assessment grades submitted to exam boards reflect a fair, reasonable and carefully considered judgement of the most likely grade each student would have achieved if they had sat their exams this summer and completed any non-exam assessment. These grades went through a final moderation process by the Executive Leadership Team who made some changes to ensure that the grades were consistent with reasonable overall expectations.

Evidence that the college used in arriving at the centre assessed grades

We used a holistic approach, balancing the different sources of evidence available to us. This included all key assessment data; partial or full completion of non-examined assessment (coursework); homework; class work and/or participation in performances in subjects such as music, drama and PE. All teachers and subject leaders carefully considered each student’s performance over the course of study and they made a realistic judgement of the grade each student would have been most likely to get, if they had taken their exam in that subject this summer.

The rank ordering process

In addition to submitting a centre assessment grade for each student, we provided the rank order of each student at each grade in each subject area.  As a large A level centre, we are very familiar with this process. We rely on internal measures that are as objective and evidence-based as we can make them. For example, we moderate and standardise all our internal exams to arrive at consistent judgements across each subject. A similar process was used to arrive at an evidence-based rank order for centre assessment grades this summer, using all the available information we have about each student. This included all relevant, contextual information we have.

The use of mock grades

Lots of students don’t feel that they do themselves justice in mock exams for a variety of reasons. We took a holistic look at all the evidence that we have available and weighed everything up to arrive at the grade each student would have been most likely to get if they had taken the exam in the summer and completed any non-exam assessment (coursework). The mock exam is just one piece of evidence that we used.

Illness during the course

Where a student has been ill or had other difficulties during their course, it would likely mean that the evidence base we have for them is narrower than that which we have for the rest of the cohort. We arrived at judgements about everyone based on the evidence we have and came to a conclusion about the grade each student would have been most likely to get if they had taken the exam in the summer. This included the knowledge that some individuals have been unwell for a portion of their course.

Non-examined assessment NEA (coursework or performance)

When course delivery went online, NEA was at different stages of completion across the relevant subjects. Whether finished or not, some subjects may have used progress towards NEA as one part of the evidence base they used to arrive at centre assessment grades.

Access arrangements

For students who have an exams access arrangement, the teacher assessed grade submitted assumed the level of performance to be achieved with that arrangement in place.

Special consideration

This is a process in place to take account of students who might have suffered a traumatic event that would have affected their performance just on the day of the exam. This process is not in operation this year as the centre assessment grades are based on how students would have performed under normal circumstances.  

Why might my grade not be the same as my predicted grade for UCAS?

The centre assessment grade that we submitted is a very different concept from the UCAS predicted grade. Your UCAS predicted grade was calculated in the autumn and, by nature, will always be optimistic, as it projects a possible outcome. The centre assessment grade was arrived at several months later with an increased bank of evidence, including your mock result.  The centre assessment grade is aimed at estimating the likely outcome had the exams gone ahead.

Can I find out what my centre assessment grades and rank orders were?

Yes – we emailed this information to all students on Friday 14 August 2020.

What can I do if I am not happy with my grades?

You may book a one-to-one counselling appointment with a member of our post-results counselling team; to request an appointment please email .


If you are planning to go to university, our advice in most circumstances would be that if you can find an acceptable university place this autumn through clearing, you should take it. Universities have been asked to be more flexible in their approach to admissions this year. We have staff available to help you navigate the process; please email

Sit exams  

If you are not happy with your CAG you may want to consider sitting exams.

There are two opportunities for you to sit examinations: 

1. Autumn 2020 exams:

email by 31 August 2020.  If the subject has coursework, you must sit the autumn series.  Results will be available on 17 December 2020.

2. Summer 2021 exams: – send your entry by email between 30 November 2020 – 8 January 2021.

Before deciding to enter for exams, you will need to carefully consider the following:

  • You will need to delay progression to the next stage of education or employment, so you would not be able to go to university until 2021.
  • As a result of the lockdown, you have not been taken through the normal revision programme nor have you been coached in exam techniques by your teachers. You should not underestimate the impact of this loss, especially as we will not be able to offer any support in the run up to the exams.

Retaking year 13

Every year students ask if they can return and retake the year to get better grades. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer that opportunity. You could, however, still apply to sit the A level examination at our centre in June 2021. This would be a good opportunity to use the intervening time to gain some useful employment, volunteering or work experience alongside studying independently for your retakes.

Information for external/private candidates

Autumn exam series

If you paid for an entry this summer and we were unable to submit a centre assessment grade for you, the Exams Manager will be in contact with you about entry for the October exam series.

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