## Awarding grades with no exams

**Date:**20.03.2020

The question we'd all like answered just now: how do we award grades with no exams? In this article, FFT investigate Ofqual's model of **comparable outcomes**. This assumes that if the prior attainment (at Key Stage 2 for GCSE, GCSE for A-level) of pupils entering a subject doesn’t change, then the grades awarded won’t change either. This of course rather undermines the principle of Progress Eight, where schools are expected to add value to the predicted outcomes based on KS2, it simply assumes that schools have done the same as previously, but lack of school accountability for a year seems a small price to pay. Any model is goig to leave some students feeling unfairly treated.

FFT describe it thus:

Ofqual could produce an indicative range of grades for each school to award in each subject. This would be based on three things, taking GCSE as an example:

- Last year’s Key Stage 2 to GCSE transition matrices
- The list of pupils entered in a subject, together with their Key Stage 2 results
- Historic Key Stage 2 to GCSE value added data

Using transition matrices, the probability of each pupil in the list of entrants achieving each of the possible grades can be inferred. For instance, someone (in FFT's example) at level 4a has a 19% chance of grade 5, a 14% chance of grade 6 and so on.

Once the probability of each grade for each pupil has been calculated, the average probability of each grade for a subject at a school can be calculated...