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Teacher Assessed Grades 2021
Awarding grades for qualifications Summer 2021
As a result of the disruption to the education of students caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the government has replaced public exams with a system to determine grades whereby teachers of GCSE and A-Level (as well as technical/vocational qualification) students must assess their students’ performance, only on what content has been delivered to them, to reach an overall holistic judgement of the grade at which the student is consistently working. Overall, the government’s intention is that it will be no easier or harder for a student to achieve a particular grade this year compared to previous years. The Joint Council for Qualifications, JCQ, released further, detailed guidance for students, parents and schools on how this process should be conducted. The guidance for students and parents can be found via the link:
How will students be assessed?
Students had the opportunity to demonstrate the progress they have made against criteria provided by the exam boards. This was measured through a series of assessments and evidence collected by departments.
The guidance states that:
‘Grades should be based on a holistic, objective judgement of the evidence of the students’ performance on the subject content they have been taught.’
‘Teachers can take a range of evidence from throughout the course but they should be aware that more recent evidence will be most relevant’.
Therefore, the assessments we planned only tested students’ knowledge and understanding on content covered in the course; this may mean that some course content was not assessed where there have been gaps in the teaching and learning due to school closure and loss of curriculum time during the pandemic.
In all instances, the JCQ has asked schools and colleges to ‘Ensure that the grades represent a holistic judgement. The grading process this year is not intended to be a formulaic calculation, and should account for the context in which each student’s evidence has been produced.’
The evidence used for each subject has been shared with students and can be found at:
Those students who have been assessed as requiring exam access arrangements should have received these arrangements for all assessments used in the judgement of the grades.
In the event that access arrangements were not in place, there are two courses of action that were taken. The school considered when determining a grade, either:
i) To use the evidence on the basis that it is the most appropriate evidence available, and that disregarding it would disadvantage the student; or,
ii) To remove that particular assessment from the evidence for the student and obtain alternative evidence.
What if my child has been ill or adversely affected by COVID 19?
Students were provided with the opportunity to raise any mitigating circumstances which warranted special consideration. It is important that students raised these issues as soon as possible, ideally at the time of the assessment and prior to the submission of the teacher assessed grade.
The JCQ guidance outlines that: ‘The usual process of centres submitting special consideration applications to awarding organisations for qualifications will not apply this summer.’ It is clear that we are being asked to, where possible, select work completed by a student where they were unaffected by adverse circumstances.
How do students and parents know that the grades awarded are accurate and fair?
Assessments will not necessarily be marked by the student’s own teacher and the majority were blind marked (candidate number only), to limit potential bias; all assessments underwent a rigorous moderation and standardisation process and may be checked by an external representative from the exam board.
We were instructed by the JCQ to write a Centre Policy which was submitted to them for external quality assurance; this has been approved and can be found here: FBA Centre Policy
All evidence used to contribute towards grades has been shared with students
Can students appeal their grades?
Yes, students who consider that an error has been made in determining their grade will have a right to appeal. Full details of the appeals process and associated documents can be found via the links below.
How will students receive their grades?
Teachers cannot discuss grades awarded with students prior to the nationally published results days, which have been brought forward this year.
Year 13 Results Day (A level and BTEC): students will receive their grades on the 10th August. A letter has been sent via Parentmail and can be found here.
Year 11 Results Day (GCSE): students will receive their results on the 12th August. A letter has been sent via Parentmail and can be found here.
Documents available to download
Exam Boards Autumn 2021 Timetables