Exam grading: EAL guidance published

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:
Image: Adobe Stock

Two guidance documents have been published to help secondary school teachers involved in allocating exam grades to pupils with English as an additional language (EAL).

This summer’s GCSE and A level examinations have been cancelled in light of the coronavirus pandemic and the closure of schools.

Students will still receive their grades, but these will be decided upon by teachers using a range of available evidence (Ofqual, 2020).

The Bell Foundation, a charity working to support the education of EAL young people, has published two documents outlining the research on academic language development and how this may affect grade allocations.

One of the documents is aimed at EAL specialists, the other at senior leadership teams.

SEE ALSO: Teacher-assessed exam grades: Why ranking may be the most vital element, SecEd, April 2020

A statement from The Bell Foundation said: “These new guidance documents aim to support schools with making fair and objective judgements for pupils with EAL and to provide specific support for those taking exams in the autumn.

“These papers are important because academic language development takes place mainly within the school context. This is where pupils are exposed to and take part in a broad range of interactions with their teachers, peers and other school staff that help them make sense of subject content and fully participate in school life. During lockdown many students with EAL may have been deprived of such a rich and conducive context for language development.”

The Bell Foundation’s guidance papers supplement the guidance issued by Ofqual by focusing specifically on how the allocation of predicted grades by teachers, and the rank ordering of each student for each grade, will affect students who use EAL. It provides specific guidance on the “important role schools play in ensuring fair and objective grade allocations for these students”.

  • Bell Foundation: The documents can be accessed via https://bit.ly/3g2WD7T
  • Ofqual: Guidance: Summer 2020 grades for GCSE, AS and A level, Extended Project Qualification and Advanced Extension Award in maths: https://bit.ly/3bMzByF


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