What the outcomes of Ofqual's consultation means for the FE sector

22 May 2020

Dear Colleague,

Following on from our previous communication on 24 April 2020, we wanted to let you know that Ofqual has now published the outcomes for its consultations on the arrangements for delivering results for vocational, technical and other general qualifications and the exceptional arrangements for awarding calculated grades in GCSEs, AS and A levels this summer.

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What this means for you and your learners studying vocational, technical and other general qualifications

Ofqual’s Extraordinary Regulatory Framework (ERF) is now live. You can also see Ofqual’s news story, which includes links to important information including: consultation decisions, analysis of the consultation, updated information for the Head of Centre and FAQs.

You can use Ofqual’s ‘Summer 2020 Qualification Explainer Tool’ on their statistics web page to search for a specific vocational, technical or other general qualification to find out how results will be generated for most learners (i.e. whether it follows a calculated/adapted/delayed assessment approach).

As the proposals in Ofqual’s consultation are now approved, this means we can finalise our proposed approaches to awarding results this summer. You can access the following here:

Equalities responsibilities

In its published outcomes, Ofqual has recognised the importance of ensuring non-bias in Centre Assessment Grades during this time and has provided additional guidance to Awarding Organisations and Heads of Centres to support this. Where relevant we have also made references in our guidance in recognition of this. If you need support or guidance please do contact our sector specialists.

Appeals for vocational and technical qualifications

Ofqual has issued further guidance to highlight issues to consider when handling appeals this summer, and has stated it expects the approach to align to that for GCSE/AS and A Level. 

We will be reviewing what the consultation outcomes mean for our current appeals process for vocational and technical qualifications and we will be issuing you with further guidance as soon as we can.

Autumn assessment opportunity for vocational and technical qualifications

Ofqual has stated that where Awarding Organisations normally have an autumn assessment opportunity, they should continue to do so. They have also stated that there should be an autumn assessment opportunity where there is sufficient demand, or where it would be unfair not to.

Most of our externally assessed units are available either on-demand, or in the January and May/June series, therefore we do not anticipate making additional opportunities available. We will revisit this based on Ofqual’s guidance, and whether there is sufficient demand. We will keep you updated.

What this means for you and learners studying GCSEs, AS, A Levels and the Extended Project Qualification

As well as publishing the exceptional arrangements for awarding calculated grades in GCSEs, AS and A levels this summer Ofqual has also announced a consultation today into the proposals for an autumn exam series, which will provide an opportunity for students unable to receive a calculated grade, and others who would like the opportunity to improve their GCSE/AS/A Level grade, to take an exam. This is an opportunity for your college to input into this important consultation and express your views on the proposal, the deadline to respond is 8 June 2020. 

For more information on some of the key decisions from the general qualifications consultation please visit our website

As ever, I’ll continue to keep you updated on the latest updates as they become available. Please continue to visit our dedicated support pages to keep up to date on the latest news and support available to you. 

Thank you once again for your patience and collaboration during this unprecedented time. 

Best wishes, 

Cindy Rampersaud
Senior Vice-President, BTEC and Apprenticeships

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