This report examines whether the process of awarding grades to candidates in summer 2020 introduced bias in outcomes that can be attributed to their known protected characteristics or socio-economic status.
Our analyses focuses on comparing the effects seen using the different approaches to grading this year with the effects observed in previous years examinations.
For both GCSEs and A levels, the univariate analyses suggested that calculated grades would have more closely maintained the relationships between candidate characteristics and outcomes than do either centre assessment grades (CAGs) or final grades. The multivariate analyses are clear that, at both GCSE and A level, the most consistent and significant effect is an uplift in outcomes for all entries using CAGs and final grades, but not using calculated grades.
In conclusion, there is no evidence that either the calculated grades or the final grades awarded this year were systematically biased against candidates with protected characteristics or from disadvantaged backgrounds.