The Department for Education in England and Ofqual have jointly set out that assessments will go ahead in 2021/22 academic year in England. We have made adaptations to Cambridge Nationals and Cambridge Technicals to support you and your students to complete assessments. If it is not possible for assessments to go ahead, then students’ grades will instead be determined by their teachers, using a teacher assessed grade (TAG) approach. Further information on the DfE's contingencies guidance is available on the Department for Education website.
We've now published the following guidance to help you prepare, should TAGs have to be used in 2021/22 – which you can also view in our factsheet.
(Read our news story for guidance on contingency planning for our GCSE, AS/A Level and Extended Project qualifications in summer 2022.)
The structure of Cambridge Nationals and Cambridge Technicals means that you can continue to deliver the course and assessments broadly as normal, as this will allow your students to build up evidence naturally. All adaptations introduced for 2021/22 would still apply.
We will provide information on arrangements for centres in Northern Ireland and Wales shortly.
We expect and encourage students to continue to complete assessments when they are ready throughout the academic year. In doing so, you will naturally build up learning and assessment evidence, in case there is disruption later in the year. As far as possible, the amount and timing of assessments should not interfere with teaching and learning. You may wish to consider when you schedule practical assessments, which may be difficult to complete remotely.
You should only use assessments which are based on content and skills which your students have been taught. You should plan to collect evidence across the range of skills and content which would normally be assessed for the qualification, across both internal and external assessment.
You should plan to collect the following types of evidence:
If the above are not available, other forms of evidence may be used, but you must provide an explanation of why this is the only option for the candidate to receive a grade.
Banked units, whether live assessments or unit level TAGs, must also be used as evidence towards the proposed TAGs in 2022 if they are available. We will provide further guidance about using banked assessments to determine grades if TAGs are reintroduced.
Your students must complete internal and external assessment assessments under conditions which are as close to normal as possible, making sure the work is the candidates’ own. This means any adaptations for completing internal assessments, such as being able to complete work from home, do still apply. Mock exams used as evidence may be completed in the classroom, or under any supervised conditions.
If students would normally all take an assessment at the same time (for example a written exam), then you should assess all students at the same time, using the same questions or tasks. Students should not know the questions they will be expected to respond to in advance, unless this is normal practice for the assessment.
You may need to make exceptions, for example for private candidates.
You should still use reasonable adjustments if your students need them. If any of your students’ performance in an assessment is affected by circumstances outside their control (such as illness, or bereavement), then you should adjust the mark or grade following the JCQ’s guidance.
You must tell your students that an assessment might be used as evidence towards a TAG before they take the assessment. For internal assessment which would have been submitted to OCR for moderation, and which was started before the publication of this guidance, it is reasonable to assume that students would have been aware that the assessment may contribute towards their qualification grade.
You may tell students their grade for individual pieces of evidence, but, if TAGs have to be used, not a final TAG grade.
Students should only be given the opportunity to repeat an assessment, for example to improve their mark in response to feedback, if they would normally have had the opportunity to resit the assessment.
We will publish further guidance on how to determine grades if TAGs are re-introduced.
If you have any queries, please call our Customer Support Centre on 01223 553998 or email us at email@example.com.