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Centre Policy for determining centre assessed grades in Summer 2021

Author: Peter Marett
Date : March 2021
Shared with Staff : April 2021
Shared with Governors : April 2021

Aims / Objectives

  • To ensure that centre assessed grades are determined fairly, consistently, free from bias and effectively within and across departments.
  • To ensure the operation of effective processes with clear guidelines and support for staff.
  • To ensure that all staff involved in the processes clearly understand their roles and responsibilities.
  • To support teachers to take evidence-based decisions in line with Joint Council for Qualifications guidance.
  • To ensure the consideration of historical centre data in the process, and the appropriate decision making in respect of centre assessed grades.
  • To support a high standard of internal quality assurance in the allocation of teacher assessed grades.
  • To support our centre in meeting its obligations in relation to equality legislation.
  • To ensure our centre meets all requirements set out by the Department of Education, Ofqual, the Joint Council for Qualifications and awarding organisations for Summer 2021 qualifications. 
  • To ensure the process for communicating to candidates and their parents/carers how they will be assessed is clear, in order to give confidence.


Procedures

This section of our Centre Policy outlines the personnel in our centre who have specific roles and responsibilities in the process of determining centre assessed grades this year.

Students should be encouraged to take responsibility for:

  • checking their College email accounts to ensure they read updates regarding changes to the process in 2021.
  • keeping informed about forthcoming assessments and preparing appropriately.
  • following guidelines to ensure that the work they are completing is their own and completed in the conditions outlined by their teacher.
  • informing their Head of School, the Exams Officer or their teacher if there is anything that might adversely affect their performance in an assessment on a particular day.
  • reading and signing the form that outlines the evidence (Appendix 1) that will be used to make the judgement of their grade in each qualification.
  • not entering into conversations about their final grade with their teachers or the selection of evidence made by their teacher.


The Head of Centre, Carl Howarth, has responsibility for:

  • approving our policy for determining centre assessed grades.
  • JCG as an examinations centre and will ensure that clear roles and responsibilities of all staff are defined. 
  • confirming that centre assessed grade decisions represent the academic judgement made by teachers and that the checks in place ensure these align with the guidance on standards provided by awarding organisations. 
  • ensuring a robust internal quality assurance process has been produced and signed-off in advance of results being submitted.


The Vice Principal has responsibility for: 

  • liaising with the Assistant Headteacher (Exams) to convey information to Heads of Faculty
  • liaising with collaborating schools which submit grades for our centre to ensure their processes are rigorous
  • scheduling checking and approval meetings with each Head of Department and the Principal.
  • attending checking and approval meetings.
  • Checking with the Assistant Headteacher (Exams) that the appeals process is correctly established and published.

 

The Assistant Headteacher (Exams), has responsibility for:

  • liaising with the Head of Centre and the Senior Leadership Team to formulate the Centre Policy.
  • providing training, specifically on making grade judgements.
  • and support to our other staff. 
  • supporting the Head of Centre in the quality assurance of the final centre assessed grades. 
  • ensuring staff have a clear understanding of the internal and external quality assurance processes and their role within it. 
  • advising all staff regarding the conduct of assessments under the appropriate levels of control with reference to guidance provided by the Joint Council for Qualifications.
  • ensuring that a Head of Department Checklist (Appendix 2) and Assessment Record (Appendix 3) are completed for each qualification that they are submitting.
  • establishing procedures for storage, access and checking of evidence.
  • dealing appropriately, in liaison with the Examinations Officer, should there be any reports of students or parents engaging in conversations with teachers about final grades or the selection of evidence to be used to make judgements.
  • ensuring a clear system is in place for submission of grades.
  • providing templates to ensure students are informed of evidence used.
  • ensuring a clear appeals process is in place and published to students and parents.

 

Heads of Faculty have responsibility for:

  • ensuring that all teachers within their department make consistent judgements about student evidence in deriving a grade.
  • ensuring an effective approach within and across their faculty and authenticating the preliminary outcome from single teacher subjects.
  • ensuring teachers have the information required to make accurate and fair judgments.
  • establishing extra support for inexperienced teachers or teachers who are the sole teachers of an examination group. 
  • being the second signatory where there is a sole teacher delivering a course.
  • guiding the work of Heads of Department and Heads of Subject to judge grades, check grades and organize the storage of evidence.
  • supporting heads of department/subject to prepare for a meeting with the Principal, Vice Principal and Assistant Headteacher (Exams) to explain, check and approve grade decisions.
  • Attend a meeting with the Principal, Vice Principal and Assistant Headteacher (Exams) should there be any queries.


Heads of Department/Heads of Subject have responsibility for:

  • ensuring that all teachers within their department make consistent judgements about student evidence in deriving a grade.
  • ensuring safe and accessible storage of evidence.
  • completing a head of department checklist (Appendix 2) and an Assessment Record (Appendix 3) for each qualification.
  • preparing for and attending a meeting with the Principal, Vice Principal and Assistant Headteacher(Exams) to explain, check and approve grade decisions.


Heads of School have responsibility for:

  • supporting students in their preparation for mini assessments.
  • helping to inform students about the process.
  • collating information about any special consideration needed for individuals and informing the exams officer and the relevant teachers.


ENCO has responsibility for:

  • ensuring teachers are informed of access arrangements required so that these are in place for all mini assessments.


Data analyst has responsibility for:

  • providing analysis data in readiness for checking and approval meetings, comparing overall results and subject cohort results with previous examined years.


Teachers have responsibility for:

  • accessing training, specifically on making grade judgements.
  • completing an online form to state that they have accessed the training and read and understood this policy.
  • ensuring they conduct assessments under our centre’s appropriate levels of control and have sufficient evidence, in line with this Centre Policy and guidance from the Joint Council for Qualifications, to provide centre assessed grades for each student they have entered for a qualification.
  • ensuring that the centre assessed grade they assign to each student is a fair, valid and reliable reflection of the assessed evidence available for each student. 
  • making judgements based on what each student has been taught and what they have been assessed on, as outlined in the section on grading in the main JCQ guidance.
  • contributing to, in liaison with the Head of Department/Subject an assessment record (Appendix 3) for each subject cohort, that includes the nature of the assessment evidence being used, the level of control for assessments considered, and any other evidence that explains the determination of the final centre assessed grades. Any necessary variations for individual students will also be recorded. 
  • securely store and be able to retrieve sufficient evidence to justify their decisions.
  • reporting any incident where a student or parent enters into conversations with them about their final grade or the selection of evidence made by their teacher to the Examinations Officer

 

The Examinations Officer has responsibility for:

  • administering a system to check all teachers preparing students for qualifications in Summer 2021 confirm  completing an online form to state that they have accessed the training and read and understood this policy.
  • formally noting any incidents reported where students or parents have entered into conversations with teachers about their final grade or the selection of evidence and consulting with the Assistant Headteacher Exams about any further action that may be recquired.
  • the administration of our final centre assessed grades.
  • informing teachers of any special consideration that might affect a student’s performance in a mini assessment.
  • the administration of our results days.
  • managing the post-results services. 

 

Training, support and guidance

This section of our Centre Policy outlines the training, support and guidance that our centre will provide to those determining centre assessed grades this year.

  • Teachers involved in determining grades in our centre will attend any centre-based training to help achieve consistency and fairness to all students.
  • Teachers will engage fully with all training and support that has been provided by the Joint Council for Qualifications and the awarding organisations. 
  • Inexperienced teachers will be given extra assistance from their Head of Department and Head of Faculty.


Use of appropriate evidence

This section of our Centre Policy indicates how our centre will give due regard to the section in the JCQ guidance entitled: Guidance on grading for teachers.

  • Teachers making judgements will have regard to the Ofqual Head of Centre guidance on recommended evidence, and further guidance provided by awarding organisations.
  • All candidate evidence used to determine centre assessed grades, and associated documentation, will be retained and made available for the purposes of external quality assurance and appeals.
  • We will be using student work produced in response to assessment materials provided by our awarding organisation(s), including groups of questions, past papers or similar materials such as practice or sample papers.
  • We will use non-exam assessment work (often referred to as coursework), even if this has not been fully completed.
  • We will use student work produced in centre-devised tasks that reflect the specification, that follow the same format as awarding organisation materials, and have been marked in a way that reflects awarding organisation mark schemes.
  • We will use substantial classwork
  • We will use internal tests taken by students.
  • We will use mock exams taken over the course of study.
  • We will use records of a student’s capability and performance over the course of study in performance-based subjects such as music, drama and PE.
  • We will use additional assessment materials to give students the opportunity to show what they know, understand or can do in an area of content that has been taught but not yet assessed.
  • We will use additional assessment materials to give students an opportunity to show improvement, for example, to validate or replace an existing piece of evidence.
  • We will use additional assessment materials to support consistency of judgement between teachers or classes by giving everyone the same task to complete.
  • We will combine and/or remove elements of questions where, for example, a multi-part question includes a part which focuses on an element of the specification that hasn’t been taught.

 

Our centre will ensure the appropriateness of evidence and balance of evidence in arriving at grades in the following ways:

  • We will consider the level of control under which an assessment was completed, for example, whether the evidence was produced under high control and under supervision or at home.
  • We will ensure that we are able to authenticate the work as the student’s own, especially where that work was not completed within College.
  • We will consider the limitations of assessing a student’s performance when using assessments that have been completed more than once, or drafted and redrafted, where this is not a skill being assessed.
  • We will consider the specification and assessment objective coverage of the assessment.
  • We will consider the depth and breadth of knowledge, understanding and skills assessed, especially higher order skills within individual assessments.


Determining centre assessed grades 

This section of our Centre Policy outlines the approach our centre will take to awarding centre assessed grades.

  • Our teachers will determine grades based on evidence which is commensurate with the standard at which a student is performing, i.e. their demonstrated knowledge, understanding and skills across the content of the course they have been taught. 
  • Our teachers will record how the evidence was used to arrive at a fair and objective grade, which is free from bias.
  • Our teachers will produce an Assessment Record for each subject cohort and will share this with their Head of Department. Any necessary variations for individual students will also be shared. 


Internal quality assurance 

This section of our Centre Policy outlines the approach our centre will take to ensure internal standardisation of centre assessed grades, to ensure consistency, fairness and objectivity of decisions.

  • We will ensure that all teachers involved in deriving centre assessed grades read and understand this Centre Policy document.
  • In subjects where there is more than one teacher and/or class in the department, we will ensure that our centre carries out an internal standardisation process.
  • We will ensure that all teachers are provided with training and support to ensure they take a consistent approach to:
    • Arriving at centre assessed grades
    • Marking of evidence
    • Reaching a holistic grading decision
    • Applying the use of grading support and documentation
  • We will conduct internal standardisation across all grades.
  • We will ensure that the Assessment Record will form the basis of internal standardisation and discussions across teachers to agree the awarding of centre assessed grades.
  • Where necessary, we will review and reflect on individual grading decisions to ensure alignment with the standards as outlined by our awarding organisation(s).
  • Where appropriate, we will amend individual grade decisions to ensure alignment with the standards as outlined by our awarding organisation(s).
  • Where there is only one teacher involved in marking assessments and determining grades, then the output of this activity will be reviewed by their Head of Faculty and this will be checked and noted in the meetings with the Principal, Vice Principal and Assistant Headteacher (Exams)
  • In respect of equality legislation, we will consider the range of evidence for students of different protected characteristics that are included in our internal standardisation.


Comparison of centre assessed grades to results for previous cohorts

This section of our Centre Policy outlines the approach we will take to compare our centre assessed grades in 2021 with results from previous cohorts.

  • We will compile information on the grades awarded to our students in past June series in which exams took place (2017 - 2019).
  • We will consider the size of our cohort from year to year.
  • We will consider the stability of our centre’s overall grade outcomes from year to year.
  • We will consider both subject and centre level variation in our outcomes during the internal quality assurance process.
  • We will prepare a succinct narrative on the outcomes of the review against historic data which, in the event of significant divergence from the qualifications-levels profiles attained in previous examined years, which address the reasons for this divergence. This commentary will be available for subsequent review during the QA process.


This section gives details of the approach our centre will follow if our initial centre assessed grades for a qualification are viewed as overly lenient or harsh compared to results in previous years.

  • We will compile historical data giving appropriate regard to potential mixtures of A*-G and 9-1 grades in GCSEs. Where required, we will use the Ofqual guidance to convert legacy grades into the new 9 to 1 scale.
  • We will include grades from IGCSEs where relevant.
  • We will look at how our students usually perform in comparison to baseline predictions.
  • We will omit any subjects that we no longer offer from our historical data.


Access Arrangements and Special Considerations 

This section of our Centre Policy outlines the approach our centre will take to provide students with appropriate access arrangements and take into account mitigating circumstances in particular instances.

  • Where students have agreed access arrangements or reasonable adjustments (for example a reader or scribe) we will make every effort to ensure that these arrangements are in place when assessments are being taken.
  • Where an assessment has taken place without an agreed reasonable adjustment or access arrangement, we will remove that assessment from the basket of evidence and alternative evidence obtained.
  • Where illness or other personal circumstances might have affected performance in assessments used in determining a student’s standard of performance, we will take account of this when making judgements.
  • We will record as part of the Assessment Record, how we have incorporated any necessary variations to take account of the impact of illness or personal circumstances on the performance of individual students in assessments.
  • To ensure consistency in the application of Special Consideration, we will ensure all teachers have read and understood the document: JCQ – A guide to the special consideration process, with effect from 1 September 2020


Addressing disruption/differential lost learning (DLL)

This section gives details of our approach to address disruption or differentiated lost teaching.

  • Centre assessed grades will be determined based on evidence of the content that has been taught and assessed for each student.


Objectivity 

This section of our Centre Policy outlines the arrangements in place to ensure objectivity of decisions.

Staff will fulfil their duties and responsibilities in relation to relevant equality and disability legislation.

Senior Leaders, Heads of Faculty, Heads of Department and Centre will consider:

  • sources of unfairness and bias (situations/contexts, difficulty, presentation and format, language, conditions for assessment, marker preconceptions); 
  • how to minimise bias in questions and marking and hidden forms of bias); and
  • bias in centre assessed grades.


To ensure objectivity, all staff involved in determining centre assessed grades will be made aware that:

  • unconscious bias can skew judgements; 
  • the evidence presented should be valued for its own merit as an indication of performance and attainment;
  • centre assessed grades should not be influenced by candidates’ positive or challenging personal circumstances, character, behaviour, appearance, socio-economic background, or protected characteristics;
  • unconscious bias is more likely to occur when quick opinions are formed; and our internal standardisation process will help to ensure that there are different perspectives to the quality assurance process. 


Recording decisions and retention of evidence and data 

This section of our Centre Policy outlines our arrangements to recording decisions and to retaining evidence and data.

  • We will ensure that teachers and Heads of Faculty and Heads of Departments maintain records that show how the centre assessed grades process operated, including the rationale for decisions in relation to individual marks/grades. 
  • We will ensure that evidence is maintained across a variety of tasks to develop a holistic view of each student’s demonstrated knowledge, understanding and skills in the areas of content taught.
  • We will put in place recording requirements for the various stages of the process to ensure the accurate and secure retention of the evidence used to make decisions.
  • We will comply with our obligations regarding data protection legislation.
  • We will ensure that the grades accurately reflect the evidence submitted.
  • We will ensure that the evidence is retained electronically or on paper in a secure centre-based system that can be readily shared with our awarding organisations.


Authenticating evidence

This section of our Centre Policy details the mechanisms in place to ensure that teachers are confident in the authenticity of evidence, and the process for dealing with cases where evidence is not thought to be authentic.

  • Robust mechanisms in place, including ensuring that nearly all tasks are completed on site and in controlled conditions. Students will be required to sign to authenticate to help ensure that teachers are confident work used as evidence is the students’ own and that no inappropriate levels of support have been given to students to complete it, either within the centre or with external tutors. 


It is understood that awarding organisations will investigate instances where it appears evidence is not authentic. We will follow all guidance provided by awarding organisations to support these determinations of authenticity.

Confidentiality, malpractice and conflicts of interest

Confidentiality 

This section of our Centre Policy outlines the measures in place to ensure the confidentiality of the grades our centre determines, and to make students aware of the range of evidence on which those grades will be based.

  • All staff involved have been made aware of the need to maintain the confidentiality of centre assessed grades.
  • All teaching staff have been briefed on the requirement to share details of the range of evidence on which students’ grades will be based, while ensuring that details of the final grades remain confidential. A template is provided for doing so.
  • Relevant details from this Policy, including requirements around sharing details of evidence and the confidentiality requirements, have been shared with parents/guardians.


Malpractice

This section of our Centre Policy outlines the measures in place to prevent malpractice and other breaches of exam regulations, and to deal with such cases if they occur.

  • Our general centre policies regarding malpractice, maladministration and conflicts of interest have been reviewed to ensure they address the specific challenges of delivery in Summer 2021.
  • All staff involved have been made aware of these policies, and have received training in them as necessary.
  • All staff involved have been made aware of the specific types of malpractice which may affect the Summer 2021 series including:
    • breaches of internal security;
    • deception;
    • improper assistance to students;
    • failure to appropriately authenticate a student’s work;
    • over direction of students in preparation for common assessments;
    • allegations that centres submit grades not supported by evidence, that they know to be inaccurate;
    • centres enter students who were not originally intending to certificate a grade in the Summer 2021 series;
    • failure to engage as requested with awarding organisations during the External Quality Assurance and appeal stages; and
    • failure to keep appropriate records of decisions made and centre assessed grades.
  • The consequences of malpractice or maladministration as published in the JCQ guidance: JCQ Suspected Malpractice: Policies and Procedures and including the risk of a delay to students receiving their grades, up to, and including, removal of centre status have been outlined to all relevant staff. 

 

Conflicts of Interest

This section of our Centre Policy outlines the measures in place to address potential conflicts of interest.

  • To protect the integrity of assessments, all staff involved in the determination of grades must declare any conflict of interest such as relationships with students to our Head of Centre for further consideration.
  • Our Head of Centre will take appropriate action to manage any conflicts of interest arising with centre staff in accordance with the JCQ documents - General Regulations for Approved Centres, 1 September 2020 to 31 August 2021.
  • We will also carefully consider the need to separate duties and personnel to ensure fairness in later process reviews and appeals.


External Quality Assurance 

This section of our Centre Policy outlines the arrangements in place to comply with awarding organisation arrangements for External Quality Assurance of centre assessed grades in a timely and effective way.

  • All staff involved have been made aware of the awarding organisation requirements for External Quality Assurance as set out in the JCQ Guidance
  • All necessary records of decision-making in relation to determining grades have been properly kept and can be made available for review as required.
  • All student evidence on which decisions regarding the determination of grades has been retained and can be made available for review as required.
  • Instances where student evidence used to decide centre assessed grades is not available, for example where the material has previously been returned to students and cannot now be retrieved, will be clearly recorded on the appropriate documentation.
  • All staff involved have been briefed on the possibility of interaction with awarding organisations during the different stages of the External Quality Assurance process and can respond promptly and fully to enquiries, including attendance at Virtual Visits should this prove necessary.
  • Arrangements are in place to respond fully and promptly to any additional requirements/reviews that may be identified as a result of the External Quality Assurance process.
  • Staff have been made aware that a failure to respond fully and effectively to such additional requirements may result in further action by the awarding organisations, including the withholding of results.


Results 

This section of our Centre Policy outlines our approach to the receipt and issue of results to students and the provision of necessary advice and guidance.

  • All staff involved have been made aware of the specific arrangements for the issue of results in Summer 2021, including the issuing of A/AS and GCSE results in the same week.
  • Arrangements will be made to ensure the necessary staffing, including exams office and support staff, to enable the efficient receipt and release of results to our students.
  • Arrangements will be in place for the provision of all necessary advice, guidance and support, including pastoral support, to students on receipt of their results.
  • Such guidance will include advice on the appeals process in place in 2021 (see below).
  • Appropriate staff will be available to respond promptly to any requests for information from awarding organisations, for example regarding missing or incomplete results, to enable such issues to be swiftly resolved.
  • Parents/guardians have been made aware of arrangements for results days.


Appeals

This section of our Centre Policy outlines our approach to Appeals, to ensure that they are handled swiftly and effectively, and in line with JCQ requirements. (See Appendix 5)

  • All staff involved have been made aware of the arrangements for, and the requirements of, appeals in Summer 2021, as set out in the JCQ Guidance.
  • Internal arrangements will be in place for the swift and effective handling of Centre Reviews in compliance with the requirements.
  • All necessary staff have been briefed on the process for, and timing of, such reviews, and will be available to ensure their prompt and efficient handling.
  • Learners have been appropriately guided as to the necessary stages of appeal.
  • Arrangements will be in place for the timely submission of appeals to awarding organisations, including any priority appeals, for example those on which university places depend. 
  • Arrangements will be in place to obtain the online written consent of students to the initiation of appeals, and to record their awareness that grades may go down as well as up on appeal.
  • Appropriate information on the appeals process will be provided to parents/carers.


Centre policy portability across jurisdictions

As this centre is located in Jersey, this section outlines our approach to Ofqual-regulated awards and to whom a Centre Policy or equivalent has been submitted.

  • Our arrangements for ensuring confidentiality of centre-determined grades for Ofqual-regulated qualifications are compliant with those outlined in the JCQ Guidance

Appendix 1 - Template - Evidence being used to support grade judgement

Appendix 2 - Head of Department Checklist / Declaration

Appendix 3 - Assessment Evidence Form

Appendix 4 - Key Dates

  • Wed 31st Mar – Exam Boards publish subject-level assessment materials
  • Mon 19th April – Exam boards publish additional subject support materials (exemplification)
  • Fri 30th April – Submission of Centre Policy
  • Thu 20th May – Year 11 – final formal day in College
  • Fri 21st May – Year 13 – final formal day in College
  • Fri 21st May – ensure all students have signed off the evidence used template (Appendix 1)
  • Fri 28th May – deadline for submitting centre assessed grades in SIMS
  • Fri 28th May – evidence ready for checking (stored securely in accessible way)
  • Fri 28th May – Complete and submit Head of Department Checklist (Appendix 2) (SharePoint)
  • Fri 28th May – Complete Assessment Record (Appendix 3) (SharePoint)


  • Mon 7th Jun – Analysis of subject and overall data ready (KC)
  • w/b Mon 7th Jun – Meetings for checking and approval take place
  • w/b Mon 14th Jun – grades entered, submitted and signed off (deadline 18th Jun)
  • 18th – 16th July – sample checks of evidence by Exam Boards


  • Tue 10th Aug – A level results day
  • Thu 12th Aug – GCSE results day


  • Mon 16th Aug – deadline for priority student appeals (to College)
  • Mon 23 Aug – deadline for College to refer priority appeals to Exam Board
  • Fri 3 Sep – deadline for College receiving non-priority appeals
  • Fri 17 Sep – deadline for College to refer non-priority appeals to Exam Boards

Appendix 5 - Appeals Procedure at JCG

At all times you must be aware that your grade could remain the same, go down or go up. You should note that the grade awarded was arrived at after the College made a judgement based on the evidence in your work and this was moderated and checked at a senior level. It should also be noted that JCG would always wish to award the best and fairest grade possible to you based on the evidence.

Step 1:

If you believe there is an error in your grade, you can request for it to be checked. JCG will firstly check whether there has been an administrative error. To do so you will be able to click a link to a form on our website.

Step 2:

JCG will carry out internal administration checks. If they discover an administrative error, you will be informed and JCG will advise the exam board and submit a revised grade to consider. JCG will notify you once they receive confirmation of your grade from the exam board. If there is no administrative error, you could continue to Step 3.

Step 3

You submit a request for JCG to send an appeal to the exam board outlining detailed reasons why you disagree with your grade. At this point, you must be aware that your grade could remain the same, go down or go up. You should note that the grade awarded was arrived at after the College made a judgement based on the evidence in your work and this was moderated and checked at a senior level. It should also be noted that JCG would always wish to award the best and fairest grade possible to you based on the evidence. To submit your request to appeal to the exam board, you will be able to click a link to a form on our website.

Step 4

JCG will submit your appeal to the exam board, await the outcome and inform you as soon as it is available.

Appendix 6 - Communication – 25th February 2021 – to students, parents and teachers

Announcements regarding exams 2021

I am sure, like me, you have been reading about the announcements regarding adaptions following the cancellation of the exams this summer.

We have tried to collate the main bullet points below and I will be hosting a Q&A for your daughter at 7pm; please join her if you are able.

Link to the Q&A on Teams:

https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_Y2E2OGNhYjEtYzJmNC00NGI0LWFmZWMtYjZiNzI2OThjNzU0%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%22ed2395c0-b7a9-4337-adf7-13916de240ef%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%2272b6f6e6-1d48-4f46-8e63-b9502557587c%22%2c%22IsBroadcastMeeting%22%3atrue%7d

What we know from today’s announcement:

  • The College has to submit our results to exam boards by 18th June;
  • Results day for A level is 10th August;
  • Results day for GCSE is 12th August;
  • Please remember that at all times, we wish to keep every avenue open to us to accrue the strongest evidence in order to award the highest grade possible;
  • Teachers can use different evidence to support their judgement. This can include mock exam marks, essay marks, coursework and further additional papers supplied by the exam board. We have to tell the exam board what we have used. We can share marks on essays, coursework, additional papers with you, as we have done with the mock results, but we can’t tell you the overall grade that we enter;
  • Teachers will continue to securely store evidence of your daughter’s performance;
  • Exam boards may check random samples and, if they have specific concerns, they can investigate and change grades;
  • There will be an appeals process – details of this are yet to be published;
  • The additional exam board papers won’t be available to us until just before the Easter holiday. We will not make a decision about if or how we intend to use these until we have seen them;
  • These additional papers will be designed to be taken in a classroom and there is no fixed time limit for their duration and they would be marked by teachers;
  • Exam boards are going to issue guidelines and training on the process for teachers and we will obviously use this. This does not become available until the end of this term;
  • We are awaiting guidance on iGCSEs and we will update you when we know.

Key JCG dates in light of announcement

  • Post course leave provisional dates – we intend to keep the dates that we had already shared with you.
    • Year 11 last full day - 20th May
    • Year 13 last full day - 21st May
  • We want to build in a rigorous procedure to check the results we are submitting:
    • Week beginning 24th May – teachers input grades
    • Week beginning 7th June – grades checked by senior colleagues
    • Week beginning 14th June – grades input to exam boards and checked before final sign off
  • Year 11 will have Sixth Form bridging work to complete at home and possibly a transition day in the period after the 20th May;
  • We may ask students to return after their last day to complete further tasks if we wish to amass additional evidence prior to 18th June. However, we expect this to be very few.

We will obviously keep you as fully informed as further guidance emerges. The key factor to remember is that Jersey students are in a strong position; we are in school and have been since the start of term. Sadly, that has not been the same for students in the UK.

Additional sources of information:

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/how-qualifications-will-be-awarded-in-2021

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/964613/Infographic_-_how_GCSEs__AS_and_A_levels_will_be_awarded_in_summer_2021.pdf

I hope you have found this update useful.

Yours,

Carl Howarth

Principal

Appendix 7 - Communication – 24th March 2021 – to students, parents and teachers

Dear Parents of Year 13 and Year 11 students

Exams 2021 Update 

I hope you are well. I thought it might be helpful to give an update on what we know and what we are doing re. the GCSE and A level exams this year. We are so very proud of how our students have responded to the changes they have faced this academic year and we hope that the information we are providing is helpful. It is a very strange time for our students and their teachers and I hope by sharing what we know, even when there are things we still don’t know, will at the very least reassure you that we are doing all we can to give your daughter the very best opportunity to achieve her fairest grade.

We do not yet have subject-specific information from exam boards but we expect that to arrive shortly. When this arrives, subject teachers will analyse and give students the relevant information directly. However, we are gradually receiving more information from Ofqual and, as promised, we would like to update you on what we know.

What we know:

  • After Easter, we will inform you of our policy and procedures regarding selecting evidence, making judgements, standardisation and signing off.
  • For every subject, exam boards require us to submit a grade for each student, based on a range of evidence that demonstrates the standard at which they are performing.
  • We must make students aware of the sources of evidence that will form the basis of the grades submitted, although students cannot be told the final grade that is submitted to the exam board. For each subject, we will ask students to sign a form where the evidence used to inform our judgement is listed and agreed.
  • We must ensure, as far as possible, that the sources of evidence are consistent across a class and record why we have selected the evidence.
  • The range of evidence could be different depending on the subject.
  • NEAs (coursework) count towards evidence and these should therefore be complete.
  • All grade judgements need to be checked and signed off by two teachers before being submitted to me for final approval.
  • The exam boards could ask to see any of the evidence as part of their quality assurance.
  • If a student normally has access arrangements, these should be met in assessments.
  • If we need to take into account any special consideration, for example significant illness, we have to do so whilst making our grade judgement. Please inform your Head of School in confidence should we need to be aware of something that could affect your daughter’s performance in any assessments. We might need to request a doctor’s note or similar.
  • It is very important that you and our students are aware of this statement from Ofqual:


Centres should be careful to avoid teachers being put under pressure from students, parents or carers to submit grades that are higher than the evidence supports. Heads of centre should keep records of such cases and might be required to report to the exam boards any cases where they believe inappropriate pressure is being put on teachers. Exam boards may treat such cases as potential malpractice.’

We therefore cannot enter into conversations about grades or the evidence selected for use to make the judgements.

  • There is an appeals procedure. We will inform students about this when we let them know the arrangement for results days. Nevertheless, we would like to reassure you that we are working with them to provide every opportunity for them to achieve the best and fairest grades that they can.


We have asked subject teachers to guide our students’ revision and inform them about assessments which will be used as evidence. We would encourage students to ask their teachers about the process. We are trying hard to balance the need to collect evidence that truly reflects performance in subjects whilst supporting students and keeping things manageable for them. This is always a busy and somewhat stressful time for exam groups and, whilst this year brings different challenges, we believe our students are equipped to cope well. We also hope that they are looking forward to that sense of relief and pride that always comes when assessments are over. Should you have any queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to talk to your daughter’s tutor, subject teachers or Head of Year.