News: New guidance for Senior Leaders and EAL specialists participating in allocation of exam grades to pupils with EAL

The Bell Foundation has published two guidance papers to help teachers participating in the grade allocation process, one for Senior Leaders and one for EAL specialists.

The unprecedented cancellation of exams for pupils completing their GCSEs and A-levels this year has implications for the attainment the 1.5 million pupils who use English as an Additional Language (EAL). Research would suggest that these implications are particularly important for those pupils who are new to English and those who entered the English system late, for example in Years 10 and 11 (Hutchinson, 2018; Strand and Hessel, 2018).

The Bell Foundation has published two guidance papers to help teachers participating in the grade allocation process, one for Senior Leaders and one for EAL specialists. They 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.

Both papers consider two key areas:

  1. How to help ensure a fair and equitable process for students with EAL in GCSE grade allocations in the absence of summer exams
  2. How to support those students with EAL who are entered for Autumn GCSE exams

Ofqual has published guidance for teachers stating that 'schools and colleges should use their professional experience to make a fair and objective judgement of the grade they believe a student would have achieved had teaching and learning continued as normal and had they sat their exams. For students with English as an additional language (EAL), schools and colleges should consider the likely language acquisition a student would have made by the time of the exam, and any increased ability to demonstrate subject content knowledge, as part of this and reflect this in their judgement. They may seek further information from specialist EAL teachers as part of this.'

The recommendations set out in The Bell Foundation’s published guidance 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.

You can download the two reports here:

  1. GCSE grade allocations in 2020: Guidance for EAL co-ordinators and EAL teachers
  2. GCSE grade allocations in 2020: Considerations for students who use English as an Additional Language (EAL): A briefing paper for Senior Leaders

 

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