The DfE and Ofqual have announced the arrangements to be put in place this summer to give results to your students taking vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs) as well as other general qualifications. We’re pleased to confirm that your students taking Cambridge Nationals and Cambridge Technicals, as well as other general qualifications1, will receive grades based on teacher judgements this summer. This is similar to the arrangements for GCSEs and A Levels.
Above all, we’re committed to working closely with you and providing the detailed support and guidance you need in the weeks and months ahead. We want to make generating ‘teacher assessed grades’ as manageable for you as possible alongside your teaching. Please see our ‘next steps’ section below for more details about the support we’ll provide in the coming months.
We’ve highlighted the key consultation decisions for you about Cambridge Nationals and Cambridge Technicals here:
It is no longer viable for written exams to go ahead.
Students’ results will be awarded using similar arrangements to GCSEs and AS or A Levels i.e. ‘Teachers must assess their students’ performance, only on what content has been delivered to them by their teachers, to determine the grade each student should receive’.
Arrangements for awarding will apply to certificating and non-certificating learners.
The performance standard for VTQs and other general qualifications should be broadly the same as in previous years when exams have taken place.
The grade for your certificating students taking Cambridge Nationals and Cambridge Technicals will be at qualification level.
We will ask centres to provide teacher assessed grades based on a range of evidence about learners’ performance. This will be in addition to, or instead of, assessment evidence from formal exams or assignments already completed.
Ofqual has stated that we are best placed to decide on the minimum amount of evidence necessary to award valid and reliable qualifications, and we will be in touch with guidance for you about this.
Internal assessment should continue where possible as it is important in supporting continued learning, as well as providing evidence to inform results awarded through alternative arrangements.
You will not need to submit any coursework to us for moderation.
In some cases, internal assessment will have been completed and awarding organisations could use this as evidence for the final grade.
To ensure no students are disadvantaged from having sat exams in January or not, Ofqual will require awarding organisations to enable non-certificating learners, whether they were absent from January examinations, or whether they sat the examinations but found the context detrimental, to receive results through the alternative arrangements.
Similar approaches will be permitted for learners who expected to certificate following the January examinations.
We will provide guidance to schools and colleges to ensure consistency in their approach to internal quality assurance.
Heads of centre will need to return a declaration.
Schools and colleges will need to submit teacher assessed grades to us for your certificating students by 18 June.
We will also provide external quality assurance checks and more guidance will be provided on this by the end of March.
Results will be issued to certificating students on or before 10 August for Level 3 and 12 August for Level 2.
Cambridge Technicals results day: 10 August.
Cambridge Nationals results day: 12 August.
Students will be able to appeal their grade.
A student who is unhappy with their grade will first ask their centre to check whether an administrative or procedural error had been made.
Where a centre does identify an error in the grade submitted to the exam board, it can submit a revised grade and a rationale for the board to consider. If the exam board is satisfied with the rationale, it will issue a revised grade.
Where a centre does not believe an error had been made, a student can ask the centre to appeal to the exam board on their behalf. The centre will submit the student’s appeal to the exam board and provide the evidence on which its judgement had been made. The exam board will consider whether, in its view, the grade reflected an appropriate exercise of academic judgement. If the exam board judges that it did not, the exam board will determine the grade that the evidence would support. The exam board will also check that the centre had followed its own process.
A student’s grade could go up or down following an appeal.
We will include private learners in our arrangements for awarding as far as possible.
It is likely that some private candidates for VTQs will have already generated some evidence that can be used to award a result.
For our other VTQs, such as Functional Skills which are used for progression, the arrangements will be different to those for Cambridge Nationals and Cambridge Technicals outlined above. Assessments for our qualifications should continue as planned in centres, if it is safe to do so. You should consider the teacher assessment route for Functional Skills only when you’ve exhausted all the options for taking a test. See our website for the latest update on Functional Skills. For our VTQs which assess occupational or professional competence, such as our Certificate of Professional Competence for Transport Managers in Road Haulage and in Passenger Transport, exams and assessments are also going ahead. Please take a look at the information on our website about the arrangements in place for other VTQs.
Ofqual’s Technical Consultation announced today will confirm the single regulatory framework for implementing the policy and decisions that have been outlined. The consultation closes on 11 March.
We know you will have many questions about what has been announced and we won’t have all the answers yet. However, we are committed to supporting you with guidance and to answer your questions as soon as we can. We are here to support you and to help your students to progress with results that are as fair as possible this summer. Our basic timeline outlines the key stages ahead for you.
We will give you clear guidance and support on how to use and mark evidence including the optional assessment materials we provide, how to determine your students’ grades and how to build your internal quality assurance processes, by the end of March. We will also provide guidance on our external quality assurance checks, how to submit grades to us and how appeals work this summer as soon as possible. Please look out for a further update on the guidance and support that we will publish on 5 March.
We will provide more detailed information and regular updates for you throughout the coming days and weeks via our support hub, our ever-expanding list of FAQs, via online webinars and support events, via social media and through our regular weekly emails. So please sign up to receive our weekly email updates if you haven’t already. And while we don’t have all the answers yet, our Customer Support Centre is always here to support you on 01223 553998 or email@example.com.