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Exams and grades

Exams 04

Update from Ofqual on GCSEs, A Levels and Vocational and Technical qualifications

3rd June 2020

Ofqual have updated their guidance for teachers, parents and students for both vocational and technical qualifications which you can read here. This follows a period of consultation.

There have been no major changes to their previous views.

  • Awarding bodies will calculate, adapt or delay qualifications.
  • Awarding bodies have worked together to agree similar approaches.
  • The approach for each qualification is dependent on the purpose and whether or not it is linked to occupational competence. The details and processes for the College to follow are determined by each awarding body and vary.
  • Individual student appeals in relation to calculated results, which are based on the professional judgements of teachers have been deemed ‘not appropriate’, the College need to demonstrate that it has followed the awarding body guidance and applied this consistently.
  • Results will not be shared with students – they remain confidential.

To ensure that the College follow a standardised approach, it is:

  • Bringing all curriculum managers together that are involved, as it receives the specific and detailed guidance from each awarding body
  • Confirming process, actions and timeframes to respond to the requirements

Ofqual have released a ‘Summer 2020 Qualification Explainer Tool’, which you may find helpful.

This tool shows what is happening in the coming weeks and months for qualifications that were scheduled to be taken in summer 2020.

It covers qualifications regulated by Ofqual, Qualifications Wales and CCEA Regulation (in England, Wales and Northern Ireland respectively).

You can select your qualification and find out the arrangements being put in place to assess the qualification, or to issue a calculated result.

Update on Functional Skills

If you should have been sitting Functional Skills exams this summer the College will be providing calculated grades for all students studying Functional Skills, with the exception of small proportion of apprentices for whom the College will need to adapt the way it does assessment in order for them to achieve.

Managers have worked with co-ordinators and teachers to standardise the criteria that the College is using to determine these calculated results and our teaching colleagues are now working through this process. These results will be moderated before being sent to the awarding bodies, in accordance with their external deadlines.

Affected students will be informed on their Interact pages as to how the College is calculating their grade.

The majority of the College’s Functional Skills qualifications are provided by City and Guilds and they have provided a letter for students which can be viewed here.

Pearson BTEC grading

15th May 2020

The exam awarding body Pearson have now published the steps that the college needs to take to arrive at calculated grades for the majority of BTEC qualifications from Entry Level through to Level 3.

The deadline we are working to is the 31st May. This means we will be submitting the grades to Pearson that we think students should achieve.

The key dates for Pearson exams and gradings can be seen here: https://qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/Support/timeline-of-key-dates-and-deadlines-infographic.pdf

GCSE and A Level Results Days confirmed


16th April 2020

Yesterday (16th April 2020), School Standards Minister, Nick Gibb, confirmed that GCSE and A Level results will be announced as planned. This means A Level results will be published on Thursday 13 August 2020, and GCSE results on Thursday 20 August 2020.

Further details will be made available nearer the time, but in the meantime, if you have any concerns, please speak to your tutor.

Ofqual update for GCSE, AS and A Level

3rd April 2020

Ofqual have announced a process for awarding GCSE AS and A Level grades which fairly recognises students’ work and makes sure they get their grades in time to progress.

You can see the guidance below.

Ofqual are asking schools and colleges to provide centre assessment grades for their students.

These grades should be a fair, objective and carefully considered judgement of the results schools and colleges believe their students would have been most likely to achieve if they had sat their exams. They will need to take into account the full range of available evidence.

The College will contact you shortly to tell you what this means for you. However, we will not be allowed to share the grades with you or your parents or carers.

You may find the following grading information video useful:

Update on vocational technical and general qualifications

Ofqual have told us how results for vocational, technical, and general qualifications other than GCSEs, AS and A levels should be awarded.

This group of qualifications includes, for example, many BTEC Nationals, Cambridge Technicals, and UAL Diplomas as well as general qualifications such as the International Baccalaureate, Cambridge Pre-U and qualifications included under the umbrella term ‘Core Maths’. It also includes Functional Skills qualifications .

Ofqual want, as far as possible, these qualifications to be treated in the same way as GCSEs, AS and A levels, with learners receiving a calculated result.

Calculated results will draw on a range of evidence, depending on the structure of the qualification. They may be based in part on teacher, trainer or tutor judgements of what result each learner would most likely have achieved had they been able to complete their assessments in summer 2020.

Ofqual are working with awarding organisations to develop the principles of the approach and ensure that it is deliverable for everyone involved in order to maintain standards so that everyone can continue to have confidence in the qualifications

You can read more here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/awarding-vocational-and-technical-qualifications-this-summer

QAA update for Access to HE providers and students

3rd April 2020

The QAA and Department for Education have today told us how they plan to assess Access to HE courses.

You can find the official letter for providers and for students below.

Students expected to complete their Access to HE course by 31 July 2020, will be awarded a graded Diploma based on the assessment they have already completed with calculated grades for all remaining assessments that have submission dates after 20 March 2020.

Students who are continuing their studies and will complete their Access to HE course after 31 July 2020 will be supported to complete through changes to the delivery and assessment of their programmes of study that are already being developed/in place.

QAA have published further guidance on how to implement the calculated grade model for Access to HE.

Guidance for students can be found on the QAA website.

The QAA are continuing to develop guidance for the calculated grade model, including guidance around quality assurance. We will tell you more when that work is complete.

The College will contact you shortly to tell you what this means for you.