General Qualifications Bulletin - UK - Issue 11
I hope that those of you who have recently had a half-term break were able to take a well-earned rest and that you are ready for the remainder of the term. Although there is still a lot more work to do before you finish for the summer, we hope that once you have submitted your grades by 18 June, you can look forward to finishing end-of-term arrangements.
Now that the centre policy submission deadline has passed, the key task for you and your colleagues will be preparing and submitting the teacher assessed grades by 18 June.
The teacher assessed grades (TAG) submission portal is now live and we have provided links below to a range of resources to support you with this process. We advise that you log in sooner rather than later to familiarise yourself with the portal and make sure that your access is correct.
Most of you will have already had feedback on your centre policy, as part of the quality assurance process, but please don’t worry if you haven’t heard from us yet - there are a small number of cases where the Awarding Organisations are still reviewing policies. This should not stop you from preparing and submitting teacher assessed grades. The final stage of the quality assurance process this summer is submitting evidence, which will need to be submitted between 21 and 23 June and there is some guidance below on the next steps.
There are some important deadline dates approaching which we have summarised below but please continue to check the timeline (PDF, 0.1 MB) on our website.
This week also saw the publication of the Ofqual and JCQ guidance on Appeals, details of which can be found below.
We know there is a lot of work for you and your colleagues to complete and as always we are here to support you every step of the way.
Please continue to visit our dedicated support page and follow us on Twitter. If you would to speak to us directly, you can get in touch with any questions via our contact form, or by calling the relevant team for your role.
As always, thank you for all your hard work.
The teacher assessed grades (TAG) portal is now available for you to make your submission.
Templates are available for you to download and use to capture your teacher assessed grades or data can be keyed directly into the system.
With that in mind, we have rounded up some resources that we hope you will find useful.
- Submitting teacher assessed grades to Pearson in Summer 2021
A video guide to entering teacher assessed grades for summer 2021 via the portal for relevant GCSE, AS/A level, International GCSE, International AS/A level, all other General, International and BTEC Qualifications.
- Teacher assessed grades (TAG/Q-TAG): Portal User Guide
A Knowledge Base article, for all centre staff that will be using Pearson’s Teacher Assessment Grades (TAG) submission portal in 2021.
- Teacher assessed grades (TAG/Q-TAG): User Guide (PDF, 1.8 MB)
A downloadable PDF guide to TAGs/Q-TAGs and the Portal.
More information and support can be found on our dedicated website pages:
We recommend that if you haven’t already, you log in at your earliest convenience and check that the login and user profiles are correct for those staff that require access. Please also check that the candidate details and entries are correct and if there are any omissions or changes needed then please action them yourself via EOL or EDI. Should you discover any required changes after 18 June please contact us as soon as possible via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For any GCSE subjects with tiered entry, please ensure that candidates have the correct tier of entry for the grade you wish to submit as the system will not allow "off tier" grades to be submitted. As mentioned in a previous bulletin, we are waiving the fees for tier entry amendments up until 18 June to support this.
Once you have submitted your final teacher assessed grades, the Head of Centre will need to submit a declaration to us. This is completed in Edexcel Online and should only be done when all of the grades for your general qualifications have been submitted and checked.
For centres that also offer Pearson vocational qualifications, there is a separate Head of Centre declaration covering these. This is a change to the process from Summer 2020.
On behalf of the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ), Pearson has been sharing confirmation with centres where they have met the necessary requirement for their centre policy.
In a small number of cases Awarding Bodies are still reviewing policies so please do not worry if you haven’t heard from us yet. The non-receipt of this confirmation should not delay preparations for submitting teacher assessed grades.
Where further information has been requested by us, please ensure that you provide this as quickly as possible.
As previously advised by Ofqual, Awarding Organisations will review all grades as part of their quality assurance processes. Once grades are received, every centre will be asked to provide samples of the evidence used to determine the grades for their students. Awarding Organisations will request at least the following evidence:
- one A level subject (at least five students)
- two GCSE subjects, one of which is likely to be either English language or maths (at least five students for each ).
Centres that offer only A levels or only GCSEs will be asked to submit only work for those qualifications. Centres will be told which A warding Organisation they need to submit to, as the upload process may vary slightly across organisations.
The selected sample for your centre will be communicated via email from 21 June and needs to be submitted within 48 hours. We understand the pressure this places on centres and want to make sure that the process is as quick and efficient as possible, so we will be asking that evidence is provided in a digital format.
We will be releasing additional functionality for the submission of evidence to Pearson. All users within your centre that have the ‘Capture’ profile on Edexcel Online will be able to upload evidence via the same portal that you submitted your TAGs.
When accessing the TAG Portal, you will be presented with a new ‘Sample Upload’ menu item. On this page you will be presented with a list of the selected subjects and students against which you will be able to upload your sample files.
Further detailed guidance on the process for this, together with step-by-step instructions and the range of file types allowed will be published early next week so that you can familiarise yourself ahead of the window for submission of evidence.
On 8 June Ofqual and the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) published their guidance for appeals in 2021. These are important documents that outline the processes that will be in place for this summer’s appeals process.
You might find it helpful to start with the introduction for Heads of centre and senior leaders, at the start of the JCQ document, which highlights some activities which could be completed before the end of term to help reduce the number of appeals and to help ensure the appeals process runs smoothly.
- Apprendix F contains a checklist of actions (PDF, 0.1 MB) which centres might wish to use to help reduce the number of appeals on results day.
- Appendix C contains a list of the evidence (PDF, 0.1 MB) which Awarding Organisations will need in the event of an appeal, and which centres might want to review now to ensure that all the documentation that will be needed is readily available.
You can also take a look at our overview video on the appeals process for this summer.
Further information can be found on our Appeals summer 2021 web page, including information on the appeals process and guidance for our international qualifications.
The timeline for UK qualifications is updated regularly on our summer 2021 support web page and can be found in our most recent 2021 Key dates and deadlines document (PDF, 0.1 MB).
Upcoming dates of note are as follows.
June 18 2021 | Deadline for submission of teacher assessed grades
June 18 2021 | Deadline for submission of endorsement grades
June 21 2021 | Confirmation of stage 3 sample communicated to centres
June 21-23 2021 | Submission of sample evidence to Awarding Organisations
Following the end of the unseen assessment window for our International qualifications, all mark schemes and other relevant assessment related materials are now available.
Mark schemes can be found on the qualification subject pages but selecting ‘course materials’ from the top menu and ‘exam materials’ under categories, like the following example.
Additional summer 2021 assessment support can also be found by selecting the teaching and learning category and scrolling down to ‘Summer 2021 assessment materials for centres’.
Where centres have opted to use the marking service for these assessments, we are in the process of returning marks. We aim to return all marks by 11 June as long as we received the scripts by the deadline of 1 June.
As mentioned previously, we will not be issuing grade boundaries for these. Where you are using the unseen assessments or other mock materials to support grading decisions, please ensure that the standard that is being applied is that of the 2017-2019 series as stated within the international guidance (PDF, 1.3 MB). Grade boundaries from 2020 and 2021 should be used with caution given the a-typical nature of these series.
The provisional timetables for UK GCSE and GCE qualifications in October and November can now be found on our dedicated web page. These are subject to consultation and we will let you know when the final timetables are completed. If you have any feedback, please contact us through the Pearson Support Page by the Monday 21 June.
The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) have also published their key dates document for the exceptional Autumn series.
Centres should note that we, along with other awarding bodies, will only be offering AS Biology, Chemistry, Further Mathematics, Mathematics and Physics this autumn.
The timetable for the standard GCSE November series, GCSE English Language and Mathematics, was confirmed in December 2020 and will not be changing.
Just a reminder that our Professional Development Academy is regularly updated with guidance and support in the form of checklists, video presentations, infographics, live event recordings and step-by-step guides to support you in determining fair grades for your students so they can progress on to their next stage.
In addition to this, subject support guides, can be found on the individual qualification pages. Please make sure that all teachers have seen these guides. Full details and links to each qualification can be found on our summer 2021 support page under the ‘Summer 2021 Grading Support’ section.
The updated guidance on awarding results in 2021 can be found on our dedicated web page. You will find videos of briefings and Q&A sessions with additional detail, alongside the guidance.
If you’d like to find out the latest information and support for our vocational qualifications, please take a look at our web page where you can find news and updates, with links to our regular VQ Bulletin which contains all the key updates you need for our vocational qualifications.