General Qualifications Bulletin - UK - Issue 22 | Pearson qualifications

General Qualifications Bulletin - UK - Issue 22

15 December 2021

Dear Colleague,

This is the last time I will be writing to you in 2021 and what another eventful year it has been for the education sector. From all of us here at Pearson, I would like to start by saying thank you for everything you have achieved this year whilst contending with the pandemic and I wish you and your families a restful holiday.  

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I will continue to write to you in the new year via these bulletins with the first edition of 2022 due to arrive with you on the 12 January. Throughout the course of next year we will continue to provide you with any relevant information as soon as we are able to and will offer you the support you may need. I am sure there will continue to be twists and turns along the way but we will always be available to help.  

We have seen a few updates since the last time I wrote to you. There have been updates to the JCQ website about 2022 which I would suggest reading. All UK boards have released subject level advance information guidance. We have released this for the relevant UK and International qualifications and this can be accessed via our Summer 2022 support page. This information is designed to help teachers and students better understand the advance information (for example what will be covered and the level of variation to expect) and to aid planning in advance of the release of the main advance information which will be by 7 February 2022 at the latest. 

Read the JCQ Summer 2022 arrangements
Access Summer 2022 support

For those of you who will be sitting exams with us in the January 2022 window I wish you and your students all the best. 

You can also follow us on Twitter (@ PearsonEdexcel) to keep up to date. If you would like 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

Hayley White 
Assessment Director 

In the last few weeks the JCQ FAQs have been updated and are available on their website.

Additional information and updates have been uploaded in response to the release of the advance information guidance. Additionally, the contingency FAQs have been updated as a result of JCQ members having seen questions asking for further information about the contingency guidance. We encourage you to read these updates. 

Read the JCQ summer 2022 arrangements

Ahead of the publication of the advance information, we have been working with JCQ awarding organisations to provide some further guidance to help teachers and students better understand the advance information (for example what will be covered and the level of variation to expect), to aid planning in advance of the release of advance information.  

This guidance aims to give teachers and students an indication of the approach that will be taken to advance information in each subject for Pearson qualifications, and is now available to access on the summer 2022 support pages for all relevant GCSE, International GCSE and AS/A level subjects. Advance information guidance is also being provided for all applicable International GCSE qualifications and can be accessed via summer 2022 support pages.    

This guidance does not replace the advance information itself which will be released on each qualification page (open access), for all applicable subjects, by 7 February 2022 at the latest, unless the Department for Education (DfE) decides on an earlier release date. It should also be read alongside the JCQ advance information guidance which has already been published. 

Access JCQ advance information guidance

You can read the letter that Dr Jo Saxton, Chief Regulator for Ofqual, sent to all UK schools on the Ofqual website.

Read the letter to schools: Advance information

We strongly encourage you to read the details of these arrangements in full in the consultation outcome. Many of these may feel familiar to the approach used for Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs) in summer 2021. We have created some frequently asked questions. 

Read the consultation outcome
Read our frequently asked questions

Exams will take place in May/June 2022 for International GCSE. In the unlikely event that these exams cannot take place in some countries because of the pandemic, students’ grades would instead be determined by using an evidence-based approach, which would be marked and graded by Pearson. Centres would have to submit at least one set of past papers as part of the portfolio.  

We strongly encourage teachers to teach and assess their students as normal, but also to review the guidance in relation to the range of evidence that would be needed and to plan their exam preparation accordingly. 

Read the contingency arrangements for international qualifications

Exam Aids are now available in the following subjects: 

  • GCSE (9-1) Mathematics
  • GCSE (9-1) Physics
  • GCSE (9-1) Combined Science
  • International GCSE Physics
  • International GCSE Double Science
  • International GCSE Single Science. 

The exam aids can be found in the Summer 2022 support section for each qualification. You can find a link for your individual subject from our main Summer 2022 support page.

Access summer 2022 support 

On 30 September the Department for Education and Ofqual published the outcomes of the consultation on proposed summer 2022 adaptations, including optionality and advance information. 

Please visit our Summer 2022 support page for full details, and the Summer 2022 support tab on each qualification page to read about the specific adaptations and optionality that have been put in place for each qualification.  

You can also read our frequently asked questions that provide more detail about the adaptations.

Access summer 2022 support
Read our frequently asked questions

We have created frequently asked questions that give you more detail about the adaptations for International GCSE. 

Please visit the Summer 2022 support tab on each qualification page to find out about the specific adaptations which have been put in place for each qualification. The adaptation and optionality information is available on each page. 

Frequently asked questions

Ofqual have recently published an open letter to private candidates for UK qualifications to offer support with what is going to happen next with the qualifications learners are working towards and how changes they are making will affect them.

Please take the time to read the letter on the Ofqual website and pass it on to any private candidates that you may be supporting at your schools and colleges. We will be sharing more shortly on the approach for private candidates sitting international qualifications.

Letter to private candidates

New versions of the GCSE and International GCSE and Mathematics in Context (L3 Core Maths) basedata are now available on our website. The following updates have been made to the basedata.  

GCSE and International GCSE summer 2022 
Version 2.0 - Updates to the timetable for 4GN1 and 4SD0    

Mathematics in Context (L3 Core Maths) summer 2022  
Version 2.0 - Updates to the timetable for 7MC0 01  

You will only need to update the latest versions of the basedata if you have made, or will be making, entries for the subjects listed above.  

Get basedata

Please ensure that all of your entries are made before the entry deadline to avoid being charged late fees. Amendments to entries made before 22 April will not be charged for. Any withdrawals made prior to 22 April will be refunded. 

Entry deadlines and other key dates can be found in our information manual.

Download entry deadlines and key dates (PDF, 0.1 MB)

For support with making entries using EDI or Edexcel Online, please see the below links: 

Make entries using EDI
Make entries using Edexcel Online

In 2022 we will only be offering the option of a visiting examiner for UK centres. UK centres will have a choice of assessment by either a visiting examiner attending their centre, or digitally via recorded performances (to be submitted via the Learner Work Transfer (LWT) platform). 

Due to the ongoing restrictions around global travel we are unable to offer visiting examiners to International centres and work must be submitted and assessed digitally. 

If you are a UK centre who wishes to proceed with an in person moderation visit, we strongly recommend that you also collect some video evidence, as a contingency, in case the visit cannot take place for any reason. 

For more information about the subjects where visiting moderation is an option, please visit the relevant subject pages where there are subject specific support documents and FAQs from our Summer 2022 support page.

Access summer 2022 support
Find out more about the Learner Work Transfer platform

The final timetables for all International qualifications in January are on our Exam timetables page.

Visit exam timetables page

Information on results days for the October/November 2021 series is available on our results day support page.

Read information about results days  

The release of results to students can take place from 08.00 am for the October/November 2021 series. This is a change from what we have previously communicated. The 08.30am was only put in place temporarily for August 2021 results dates and should not be followed for this series. 

The Department for Education and Ofqual have confirmed that exams will go ahead in summer 2022. As always, we’re here to help you through the coming months and are continually investing in additional qualification support in the run-up to the 2022 series and beyond.  

You can find full information on our Pearson Edexcel general qualification fees for UK centres in summer 2022 in the link below.

UK general qualification fees summer 2022

We continue to invest in additional qualification support and further improvements to our qualifications to help and support you and your students through the specific challenges of the 2021/22 academic year and beyond.  

General qualification fees cover the delivery of each qualification over a two-year period from first teaching to successful completion of the course and assessment. Our experts work to provide schools and colleges, teachers and students with the best and most up-to-date support possible throughout this cycle. While your qualification fees are paid at the very end of the two-year course, they cover much more than just the final exams and enable us to provide everything you and your students need throughout the course. We recognise that school budgets are stretched, and we will always aim to keep fee increases to a minimum, while providing as much value for money for our qualification fees.   

Read our general qualification fees guide (PDF, 0.7 MB)

There is a new FAQ hub and a new Teaching, Learning and assessment page for Vocational and Technical qualifications in 2021/22.

Read vocational and technical qualifications 2021-2022 FAQs

Take a look at the Teaching, learning and assessment 2021-2022 page

You will find the latest information and support for our vocational qualifications on this page, along with links to our regular VQ Bulletin containing all the key updates you need for our vocational qualifications. Please do bookmark this page for future reference.

Read the VQ Bulletins

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