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Introduction

Latest update: 26 March 2021

Look here for all the information you need to understand how we will approach teacher assessed grades in 2021.  This page will be updated regularly, as information emerges and as our processes are finalised. 

Due to disruption caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic, examinations planned for summer 2021 have been cancelled.  Instead, we will submit teacher assessed grades (TAGs) to exam boards who will award qualifications in August 2021. Teachers are working hard to ensure that the range of evidence they will use to formulate TAGs is fair and in alignment with government guidance. We want the best for our students.

Here are a few headlines to help you understand TAGs: 

  1. TAGs will be based on a range of evidence completed as part of each course.  The evidence will demonstrate a student’s performance on the subject content they have been taught. 
  2. In arriving at judgements for TAGs, we will ensure that it is no easier or harder for a student to achieve a particular grade this year compared to previous years.  However, in 2021 we recognise that students might not have been taught all the content and so might not demonstrate such a broad range of knowledge, skills and understanding.  We will take this into consideration when formulating TAGs.
  3. As part of our overall quality assurance, we have been asked to consider the grades for this year’s cohort compared to cohorts from recent years when exams have taken place (2017, 2018 or 2019).  This historical data can provide a useful guide to the expected profile of results and will enable us to check that we have not been overly harsh or lenient in our assessment of the 2021 cohort.
  4. We will publish on these pages the sources of evidence that will form the basis of the grades submitted for each subject, although we cannot tell students the final grade that is submitted to the exam board.  We expect to have the list of evidence for each subject published by the end of April.
  5. As far as possible, the sources of evidence will be consistent across a class or cohort of students.  We have been asked to make the final judgement about what is to be included.  This decision is up to each school or college because different content may have been covered and there have been varying degrees of disruption across the country.
  6. We will be asked to make a holistic judgement of each student’s performance on a range of evidence relating to the qualification’s specification content that they have been taught (either in the classroom or via remote learning).
  7. Teachers can use evidence of a student’s performance from any point during the programme of study, provided they are confident that it reflects the student’s own work.
  8. Students should, wherever possible, continue with their NEA (coursework) as it covers key areas of the specification.
  9. We have been asked to be careful to avoid teachers being put under pressure from students, parents or carers to submit grades that are higher than the evidence supports.  The Principal has been asked to keep records of such cases and might be required to report to the exam boards any cases where she believes inappropriate pressure is being put on teachers. Exam boards may treat such cases as potential malpractice.
  10. Ofqual recommend the following types of evidence, where available: 
  • assessment materials normally provided by the exam board including past papers, and the groups of questions being provided to support evidence gathering this summer, or similar materials such as practice or sample papers.
  • NEA work (usually referred to as coursework), even if this has not been fully completed.
  • Student work produced in centre-devised tasks that reflect the specification, that follow the same format as exam board materials and have been marked in a way that reflects exam board mark schemes.
  • Records of a student’s capability and performance over the course of study in performance-based subjects such as music, drama and PE.
  • Records of each student’s standard of work over the course of study.

 JCQ guidance for students and parents:

JCQ guidance for students and parents

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