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Centre Determined Grades

Candidates undertaking GCSE, BTEC, AS and A Levels approved by Qualifications Wales will have their qualifications awarded through a Centre Determined Grade model (CDG) in 2021. This means that their grades will be determined by their school or college. WJEC and Qualifications Wales have produced detailed guidance for centres on the grading process to enable an appropriate evidence based, valid and fair grade to be determined for each pupil in each subject.

CDG judgements will be underpinned by the belief that candidates should be given the opportunity to demonstrate what they know, what they understand and what they can do.

CDGs will be based on a holistic best-fit judgement of a candidate’s performance on content they have been taught. Grades will reflect demonstrated attainment in a subject. Grades will not be based on predicted trajectories or target grades. They are grades determined by clear evidence. The Centre Determined Grades this year are not the same as the Centre Assessed Grades awarded last summer as these grades will not be subject to change by an external process, provided we have followed the correct procedures to award fair and valid grades.

Assessment evidence to support grading decisions will come from 3 areas:

1 Non-Examination Assessments (NEAs), these form a key part of many subjects but not all. They are completed at different points in the year and we hold evidence in this form for some subjects already. In other subjects the NEAs will be completed during the summer term. 

2. Adapted past paper questions. We will be using past paper questions as the basis for assessments in the summer term. These are an effective method for assessing candidates’ attainment. They are carefully matched to subject assessment objectives and have been quality assured by the WJEC to ensure they are fair and unbiased.

3. Additional Assessed work. Where work completed earlier in the year provides a valid and reliable assessment, which is an accurate reflection of the standard at which a candidate is working, such work may be used as evidence to support the determination of a grade.

The evidence base we use must meet the requirements of the Assessment Framework outlined by the WJEC for each subject.

Within this document you will find details of the assessments that will be used as evidence for the CDGs in each subject along with a timetable indicating when the summer term assessments will take place. We have endeavoured to spread the assessments as evenly we can over the relatively short time span available to us. The assessments will be undertaken in classrooms under strictly controlled conditions and whilst adapted past paper questions are used in these assessments, they are not exams but more like NEAs.

Access arrangements will be facilitated to ensure the assessment process is fair for all candidates and special consideration arrangements remain in place.

All evidence will be subject to internal moderation and quality assurance to ensure consistency and reliability within and between subject areas. 

At the end of the decision making process, we will inform candidates of the provisional CDG in each of their subjects. This information will be made available in June. Following this there will be a short window where candidates/parents can request a review of the evidence if they believe a judgement or procedural error has been made.

There will be an external appeals process via the WJEC after the final grades are awarded in August if candidates/parents still believe that a judgement or procedural error has been made.

The current circumstances we operate under, remain challenging and there is the potential for absences to impact on these arrangements. Clearly candidates need to maximise their attendance to be able to achieve their best. We will do what we can to make provision for candidates, who are absent, to complete assessments within the tight time constraints available to us. Where circumstances prevent the completion of all the scheduled assessments, we will use the evidence we have available to us to inform our decisions. 

The assessment information outlined in the attached documents may be subject to change due to the impact of circumstances that are beyond our control. We will endeavour to communicate any changes to you as promptly as we can.