GCSE and A-level 2022 exams grading plan will be confirmed in October, says Ofqual

A decision on how exams will be graded in 2022 will be announced next month, Ofqual has said.

Ofqual chair Ian Bauckham told the Parliamentary education committee this morning that the regulator would confirm grading arrangements in October.

But the outcome of a consultation on modifications to assessments next year is still potentially weeks away, despite a stated aim to confirm decisions by “early September”.

The official consultation, launched July, stated that the government and Ofqual were “aiming to announce our decisions by early September”, with a decision on grading also coming in the autumn.

Bauckham acknowledged in May that teachers “need to know” of any “significant” changes before the start of the academic year.

But Ofqual would only confirm today that the outcome of the consultation would be published “in the next couple of weeks”.

Ministers have confirmed they want to see formal exams go ahead next year following their cancellation in 2020 and 2021, but with some adaptations aimed at making them fairer to pupils who have missed out on parts of their education.

Ofqual and the Department for Education launched a consultation in July on these adaptations, including a choice of topics for some GCSEs and advance information about content in most subjects.

The consultation closed on August 1, leaving schools waiting for confirmation that the proposals will be implemented.

Ofqual confirmed the arrangements for vocational and technical qualification exams for 2021/22 last month.


This story has been updated after Ofqual clarified that Ian Bauckham was talking only about the grading decision when he told the committee plans would be confirmed in October.

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  1. Due to the covid-19 pandemic is was hard for our students to carry on their studies effectively. if we take 2020 A level batch of students, they had to go through only months of online learning and if we take 2021 batch of A level students, they had to go through only 1 year of online learning. Besides both when we take 2022 A level batch students, they had to go through 2 years of online learning and maybe 4 months will add next year. Think which batch is affected most. Honestly to say online learning is not effective and many students complain there are many signal issues and other network issues occurring during their classes so they can’t understand what their teachers said. Moreover there can be many students who didn’t have a proper device to join their online classes. So do you think they are ready to face this examination that will change their whole life in 7 months? Personally i don’t think so. well, think about a student she/he studied and worked hard for this exam 1/2 years think that child got affected by the virus, where will all the hard work go? That child will also not be able to enter the examination hall. So kindly requesting please think about these children. I know exams are the fairest way to assess children. But, its not the same like before. This virus affected the whole world very hardly. Hope that you all will think about these children and make a fair decision but in my opinion majority of students might not be ready for this life changing exam. This can affect their whole future.

    • Anonymous

      Being someone who currently is in year 11 I deeply appreciate your comments Ms Amy if only the government and the rest of the world could think like you and realise what situation us students are going through right now for a country that claims they care about mental health they’re almost asking for the impossible if they wish for exam to continue to take place I personally believe as well as other peers it would only be fair if we get teachers assessed grades due to the fact our teachers know what we’ve been through and what we’re actually capable of. Instead of forcing us to face an examination where we’ve missed out on 2 years of education it’s the only reasonable ground of grading this year current year 10s have a good 2 years yet whilst we have barely 7 months almost 6 in half a year were expected to take important exams when you think about it year 9 was when we went into lockdown so really we’ve missed out on studying a lot of GCSE content that cannot be recovered in such a short space of time. In a year where we should of been revising majority of it will be taken up by studying content we’ve missed out on. All the amount of weekend and after school Tution cannot make up for this. Not only if GCSEs take place this year will it be physically exhausting for students it will be mentally. I believe if exams do take place the government will see a high increase in teenage issues such as Suicide. Therefore it’s only in my hope that this years GCSEs are cancelled and replaced with teacher assessed grades as it’s the only logical and fair method.

  2. Anonymous

    Currently I am in year 11 and in my opinion I don’t think it’s fair for GCSE’s to be challenging for us. I was in year 9 when lockdown started so we missed out on half a year of school. Then in year 10 we were going over year 9 topics because we couldn’t start year 10 not knowing some of year 9 content that we’ve missed, and there was no online classes in year 9 for us. In December 2020 another lockdown started, we went into online classes but not everyone joined as we had internet issues or not having access to devices which affected most of our learning. And for some people they couldn’t focus and not understand the teacher through the mic. Year 11 is a very stressful year, since we missed out on loads of GCSE content I fairly suggest to lower grade boundaries. Our current mental health is mentally and physically affecting us, we are non-stop studying for many hours straight because we fear of failing. Not even a tuition or teacher can recover most of the topics we missed and we only have 7 months until we set the exams that will have a permanent change to our future life. Please make a fair decision soon, thank you.

    • Kieran uphill

      I agree also, I’m in year 13 and will hopefully be the only year to have cancellations / changes affect both sets of my exams simultaneously (GCSE and A-level). From one month into college we has issues with work which began with masks during lessons (prompting reduced lessons from my college) and gradually building up until the (half) lockdown in December and further national lockdown at the beginning of 2021. Other than the summer term (which I missed much of for other reasons) we have had virtually no proper learning time other than barely adequate teaching over the Internet (not the teachers fault) going into yet another set of exams ill-equipped and unsure about them even happening is daunting. I personally believe aswell as topic focus release and lower boundaries we should be given more time. The last set of exams I took were year 10 end of year assessments which always took place at the end of June or beginning of July (after exam season was over for real exams) I think exams should be pushed back around a month to give students a few more critical weeks to study and try to pull through as much of a specification as possible