Letter From Mr Costello Regarding GCSE Results

20th August 2020



Dear Year 11 students, parents and carers


As I am sure you are aware, there has been much confusion and discussion around the awarding of ‘A’ level and GCE grades this summer and I wanted to let you know how sorry I am that this generation of students has been significantly impacted upon by events beyond the control of any single Government or organization.


What is important is that you take time to celebrate your achievements today and move onto the next stage of your lives and careers.  I want to re-emphasise to all of you how saddened and disappointed we were to have not had the opportunity, in person, to formally say goodbye and to wish you well.  I am hoping that this will be put right in the Autumn term (before Christmas) when we invite you back to school for your ‘Leavers Assembly’ that would normally have taken place in May.  As soon as we are permitted to have this event, I will write and let you know.


Your Results


After a change of plan by those with responsibility for awarding your grades, it has been confirmed that the ‘Centre Assessed Grade (CAG),’ which is the grade that your teachers provided to the exam boards at the beginning of June is the grade you have been awarded for most of your qualifications.  The CAG is the grade that your teachers think you would have received if you had sat your exams in May and June.  The Government made the decision on Monday 17th August to accept these grades as the grades you would have received and to issue them to you today.  An exception to this are a small number of vocational qualifications undertaken with the NCFE exam board, these will be indicated on your results slip and are arrived at by the exam board using information submitted by the school, banked grades from units you had already completed prior to lock-down and information held by the exam board.


It is important for you to understand that no other person is better placed to predict what your grade might have been other than the teacher who taught you and this CAG for each subject that you have today received involved a very detailed discussion with myself as Headteacher, the Deputy Headteacher and the Curriculum Leader of each subject about the grade you would have achieved had you sat the exam. Your grades were further Quality Assured by a National Leader of Education and former Headteacher with considerable educational experience as a Headteacher and teacher. 


There are limited grounds to appeal your teacher assessed grade but as I have stated there is no other person who can judge your predicted grade than the person who provided your CAG – your subject teacher and to achieve this we used a wide variety of evidence including previous exam results (mocks), formative and summative assessment, work in books and so on. If you are unhappy about any of your grade’s then please do contact the school and speak to a member of staff. If after this discussion you are still not satisfied with the outcome then go on to the student section of the school website and follow the link about appealing your Centre Assessed Grade.


You also have the opportunity to sit any or all of your exams between the 2nd and 23rd November 2020 and the Government has stated that should you take up this offer then the highest grade you achieve will be accepted. Can I ask that you contact the school office before Friday 4th September 2020 to confirm that you wish to take up this offer and in which subjects. There will be no cost to you personally.


I would like to once again repeat what I said to you in my letter from 7th July and to thank you once again for being such a wonderful group of young people of whom I feel very proud and privileged to have been with during your five years at Savio Salesian College. Your mums, dads, carers and friends should be rightly very proud of you and all you have achieved in this most difficult of years. Please do remember you will always be a part of our Salesian family and be confident in who you are and where you come from. As our patron Saint, John Bosco, said to his students many years ago go out into the world and “do good, do all the good you can and you will never regret doing it.”


Take good care of yourselves, look out for each other, stay in touch and I will meet you all for one last time at our Leaver’s Assembly (when permitted to do so).


Kind regards,


T. Costello