THE head at one of the district's high schools has described how submitting predicted grades for exam students had been a 'significant undertaking' for staff.

Kieran McGrane, the headteacher at Ponteland High School, praised teachers and staff for rising to the challenge of submitting grades for A level and GSCE students whose exams had been cancelled due to coronavirus.

Mr McGrane said: “The setting of centre assessment grades has been a significant undertaking and something that has had to be done in a relatively short period of time. I am convinced that it has been managed with integrity and due consideration to the needs and aspirations of all our students.

“It has not been an easy task”, added Mr McGrane. “But, it has been managed with contributions from all staff and I am confident that the resulting grades reflect the evidence we have for each student, and if unchanged, will enable them to progress to their chosen next steps.”

At Ponteland High School, a four-stage process was adopted.

At stage one, subject teachers assigned a recommend grade, based on their holistic knowledge of each student, and a class rank order.

This data was then combined with those of subject colleagues, before a review of the whole cohort’s data and overall rank order was submitted by heads of departments.

Where two or more students received very similar grades and ranks, the department identified a data set to use as a tie breaker, with consideration given to historical performance.

Step three was managed by two deputy headteachers and overseen by Mr McGrane, who reviewed every grade for every student across every subject. All grades were then tested against historical data at school and subject level to ensure results were in line with the performance of previous cohorts and the prior attainment of this group.

Data was submitted on Friday.