Your Qualifications and Progression: Summer Grading [Updated 29th April 2020]
29th April 2020
Latest update - Wednesday 29th April 2020
For students on work-related courses, such as BTECs, UAL and City & Guilds
The Government, through the exams regulator Ofqual, have published a consultation on how they will go about awarding qualifications and grades for Technical and Vocational qualifications this summer. The press release with links to all the documents can be found here.
In summary, the proposals would see the Awarding Organisations (such as Pearson for BTEC, UAL, and City & Guilds) determine whether your qualification could be:
- Either Assessed and awarded via a calculated grade, which would in the first instance come from your teacher and the College and then would be checked by the Awarding Organisation to make sure it was fair and reasonable,
- Or assessed and awarded through the adaptation of the assessment methods, so that you are tested in a different way than was originally planned on the skills and knowledge that you have learnt. This will be applied in particular where the qualification you are studying requires you to demonstrate specific practical skills in order to be competent in the trade or occupation in which you are studying
The consultation is open until May 8th and after that Ofqual will confirm to us and the Awarding Organisations exactly how your qualification will be awarded this year. Whilst we know some awarding organisations are already communicating how they believe their qualifications will be awarded, we must wait until Ofqual has confirmed these arrangements before we are able to tell you exactly how this applies to your qualification. We will be back in touch in the middle of May to confirm the arrangements for you individually.
There are two important things we can say now, however:
- The College is fully committed to making sure you get the outcome that you deserve for your qualification;
- We will do everything we can to make sure that your progression for September 2020, whether to Higher Education, within the College to a new course, or into an Apprenticeship and/or work, is unaffected by the changes to assessment this year.
We know that being at college is about more than just getting a certificate - it’s about the skills and knowledge you need to take you to the next stage of your life and prepare you for your future.
That is why your teachers will continue to set you work to do. Try hard to engage where you can because it will help you, both now and in the future - but please don’t worry if in the current situation you are finding it hard. Your teacher, the tutorial staff and the wider College team are all here to support you, so just get in touch via your college email if you want some support.
If you have any questions about what the above means for you, please contact email@example.com.
Access to Higher Education Students
On Thursday 9th April, the QAA has published additional guidance on how Access to HE Diplomas are to be assessed and awarded in the 2019/20 academic year here
Every Access to HE student will be sent an email to their student email account with more details on what this guidance means for you.
GCSE and A Level Students
With this summer’s exams having been cancelled, students will be awarded a calculated grade. This will be produced from a range of evidence provided by teachers, including performance on mock exams and non-exam assessment, combined with data from the exam boards. It is important to note that:
- for those students that wish to, there will still be the opportunity to sit their exams as soon as possible after schools and colleges re-open
- there will also be a process in place to allow appeals against the calculated grade.
For students on work-related courses, such as BTECs
Unlike A levels, GCSEs and Access to HE Diplomas, we still await the detailed government guidance on how technical and vocational qualifications will be awarded on the 2019/20 academic year. However, Ofqual have published more details on their website here. This announces that each qualification will be placed in one of 3 categories in terms of how final grades are awarded:
- the qualification will have calculated results applied
- the qualification will have the assessment(s) adapted
- the qualification will have to have assessment rescheduled until a time when colleges are operating normally again
Over the coming weeks we expect to get guidance about how each of our technical and vocational qualifications are being categorised and when we know we will contact each student (via your student email account) with the details for their qualifications.
Getting you to your next step
Our College is all about getting students to the next step and we will be supporting students to help them progress to the best option for them - whether that's progressing to the next stage of their course, moving on to higher education or starting their career.
We have outstanding teachers who are all dedicated professionals and they will be working tirelessly to prepare the information Ofqual and QAA will require.
We know that you may still have questions concerning this process and therefore have set up a dedicated mailbox for you to email those queries to firstname.lastname@example.org
We will respond to any queries as quickly as we are able.
Applicants planning to join our college in September
For all students who have applied to join us in September 2020, please rest assured that your application will not be in any way disadvantaged because of the exceptional circumstances in which qualifications are having to be awarded this year. For more details see the Applicants for September 2020 section of our website here