Coronavirus: Don't judge teachers on 2020 assessment results, DfE tells schools

Schools should not use 2020 assessment data to judge teachers’ performance, the Department for Education has said.

New guidance from the government also confirms that this year’s GCSE and A-level results won’t be used to assess free school, teaching school and English and maths hub applications.

It comes after joint union guidance told schools not to monitor the performance of their staff during partial school closures.

Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, announced last month that all summer tests and exams would be cancelled following the decision to partially close schools in response the coronavirus outbreak.

Instead, GCSEs and A-levels will be awarded based on schools’ assessment of their pupils.

Guidance released today on school and college accountability confirmed that schools “should not use the 2020 exams data as part of their teacher performance management process”.

It also confirms that schools’ performance will be judged on data from previous years, not grades achieved this summer.

“All those working with schools and colleges, such as Ofsted, Department for Education regional teams and local authorities, should use data from previous years when assessing school and college performance, and not the 2020 data,” the guidance states.

The DfE has also set out a full list of performance datasets that will not be published for 2019-20 as a result of the outbreak.

For example, the government will not be publishing school, college or multi-academy trust (MAT) level performance data based on summer 2020 tests, assessments and exams “at any phase”.

This includes measures such as Progress 8, and means performance data releases due in October and December 2020 and January and March 2021 will not go ahead.

The DfE will “also not publish any institution-level qualification achievement rates in the national achievement rate tables for the 2019 to 2020 academic year”, the guidance goes on to say.

It was announced last week that schools will be asked to provide assessment grades and rankings within grades for GCSE and A-level pupils under a new system put in place this year.

The DfE’s new guidance confirms schools and colleges will receive details of grades directly from awarding organisations. 

The department also confirmed it will not share the educational performance data from 2020 exams and assessments with schools via Analyse School Performance, or through the ASP accredited service.