LINKS SINCE APRIL 2017 LISTED BELOW THIS DEFINITION, MOST RECENT FIRST.
What is severe grading?
Analysis of national data by Ofqual, DfE and other organisations compares the grades obtained by pupils in modern languages (esp French, German and Spanish) with the grades in other subjects. This shows clearly that pupils of the same prior attainment will, on average, obtain lower grades in languages than other common subjects at GCSE.
Because this data is drawn from Ofqual, JCQ, DfE, Ofsted and other official and independent sources, it will be invaluable for members preparing for Performance Management and annual Examination Analysis (including discussion with Heads and Governors) and for Ofsted inspections / Self Evaluation processes.
The situation at AS and A/L is more complex and covers a range of issues, but these are still very much matters of concern. We refer here to “severe and unpredictable grading”. There is an overall issue of grades in French, German and Spanish being lower than most other facilitating subjects apart from Maths and Sciences. There is a particular issue at A* with the proportion of A* grades relative to A & A* grades being much lower than all facilitating subjects. There is also an issue with the rank order of students not being in line with teacher expectation (“unreliable grading”). This was recognised by Ofqual and specifically addressed in their Sept 2014 report and action has been taken.
Ofqual are now officially looking at the whole topic of Inter-Subject Comparability (ISC), and we are very much hoping that action will be taken.
ADDED 11TH AUGUST 2020:
There is also an issue with the impact of “native speakers” on the overall grading.
The A* issue at A-level was recognised by Ofqual and specifically addressed in their Sept 2014 report and action has been taken so that the proportion of A* relative to A* & A grades is now much more in line with our facilitating subjects.
The impact of native speakers on the grading at A-level was recognised and adjustments made to the grading in June 2017
Ofqual looked into the whole topic of Inter-Subject Comparability (ISC), and decided not to make any changes but launched a specific investigation into A-level Ph, Bi and Ch and A-level Fr, Gn and Sp, and then into GCSE Fr, Gn and Sp.
Ofqual decided not to make any change at A-level in either case, but in November 2019, they announced that they would be making changes to the grading of GCSE French and German to bring them into line with GCSE Spanish. This means that around 11% of students will be getting a higher grade for June 2020 than they would have done otherwise (and the changes are still being made, in spite of all the other exceptional arrangements this year).
LINKS – MOST RECENT ON TOP
Added 11/8/20: Information about the increases in grading for GCSE French and German for June 2020 results:
|(1) GCSE Fr + Gn Jun 2019 with Ofqual 2020 adjust v3.docx||This document calculates and shows the impact on the June 2019 results of the Ofqual adjustments exam boards have been instructed to make for June 2020 (to be updated once June 2020 results published)|
|(2) Ofqual adjustment to GCSE Fr + Gn 2020 re severe grading.docx||This document gives guidance to teachers on how to unpick the information supplied by the exam boards on results day to see what the impact of the adjustments on the results.|
05/11/2019 Announcement by Ofqual, to increase the grading in GCSE French and German to match that of GCSE Spanish
Ofqual Inter subject comparability in GCSE modern foreign languages.docx
|News story of announcement by Ofqual, with links to the associated documentation incl statistical evidence and wider research|
Added 29/4/19: April 2019 Update on severe grading in GCSE 9-1
Added 29/11/17: Outcomes of survey about GCSE ML severe grading November 2017
Added 29/11/17: Grading in ML AL and GCSE exams – 29 nov 17 – ppt – Presentation about severe grading in Modern Languages and Inter-subject comparability. November 2017.
PowerPoint giving a brief history of ‘Inter-subject Comparability’: Grading in ML AL and GCSE exams – Aug 17