General Qualifications Bulletin - UK - Issue 32 | Pearson qualifications

General Qualifications Bulletin - UK - Issue 32

Wed May 18 15:00:00 UTC 2022

Dear Colleague 

As I write to you for this edition of the bulletin many of you will have already undertaken your first exams this year, the first that many of you may have had since 2019! 

Read more

I would like to thank you all again for the incredible work that you continue to do to ensure learners are ready to sit exams, for many of them for the first time. We know that sitting exams can be a stressful time for learners, we have some wellbeing support documents available for students and Ofqual have also shared some helpful tips about preparing for exams.

There will be many milestones over the coming weeks and months, but we have passed our first major milestones this week. We have had the first exams and we have also had the submission deadline for moderation. Thank you to all of you that have been involved in meeting the submission deadline and for using our new Learner Work Transfer system, I know for many of you it went smoothly and helped to quicken the process but for those of you where it wasn’t as smooth, thank you for working with us to resolve the problems. We are beginning to receive hundreds of thousands of exam scripts to our processing centre and we will be working with our thousands of examiners to ensure all of these are marked accurately and on time.

Whenever I talk to many of you there are always questions about what we do to create exams, mark them, award them and improve them. We have created a series of videos and interviews that we will be sharing over the course of the next few months that will hopefully lift the lid on some of those things. Thank you to those schools, teachers and examiners that have been involved with us to create these videos. 

We’ll continue to write to you through these bulletins with important and helpful resources and information throughout the exam series, and of course you can always get in touch if you have any questions. We will always do our best to get you the answers as quickly as possible.  

Kind regards

Hayley White
Assessment Director  

JCQ have released updated Special Considerations Guidance to cover COVID-19 for Summer 2022. 

The guidance has been created in line with the latest UKHSA guidance. Candidates should be encouraged to attend examinations as much as possible and where it is safe to do so in line with Government guidelines.    

However, in circumstances where a candidate who is staying at home and avoiding contact with others, in line with UKHSA guidance, at the time of the examination, is considered to be absent from the examination for an acceptable reason and would be eligible for special considerations. This includes candidates who are displaying the symptoms described in the UKHSA guidance as advising them to stay at home (e.g. a high temperature for those aged 18 and under) as well as those with a positive COVID-19 test result. Where a candidate still wishes to attend an examination, despite having symptoms (e.g. a high temperature) or a positive COVID-19 test, the centre should encourage the candidate to follow the UKHSA’s guidance. 

The JCQ awarding bodies will be adapting Form 14 -JCQ/ME - Self-certification for candidates who have missed an examination to assist centres in dealing with candidates who are absent from an examination for an acceptable reason in line with the UKHSA guidance. Centres will expect parents/carers/guardians and candidates to complete the relevant sections of the form. Centres can verify the candidate’s circumstances, where provided in Form 14, to process an application for special consideration using the category ‘absent candidate’. There is no requirement for a candidate to complete a COVID-19 test to provide evidence of their absence from an examination. 

JCQ have released a set of FAQs to read in conjunction with the guide. 

In the last few weeks Ofqual and the Department for Education have released a series of useful and interesting documents.   

Ofqual have released a podcast featuring Dr Jo Saxton and Cath Jadhav that talks about how marking and grading will work in summer 2022. You can listen to it here.

Ofqual have also released an open letter to headteachers about the start of exams in May 2022. There is important information for centres and students as well as more information about grading. You can read the letter on their website.

Lastly, the Department for Education and Ofqual have jointly released guidance on subject content and assessment arrangements in the academic year 2022 to 2023. You can read more about these arrangements here

Like you, we take question paper security seriously. We’re always seeking ways to enhance the security of our papers and have made some changes which may affect you this May/June.   

For exams in May/June, we have put in place additional measures to enhance the security of exams in A level Mathematics and some other identified high-risk A level and International A level subjects. If your centre is affected by these changes you will have heard from us already. 

If in the rare event you have issues accessing examination papers, papers are available to download via our Secure Download Service (SDS) OR some may be sent via secure file transfer (SFT). In any event, please contact us immediately if you are having problems with your question papers.  

In the meantime, as we build up to the examination series we recommend reading the latest JCQ Instructions for Conducting Examinations document. More information about our question paper tracking services and how to store question papers can be found on our support portal.

You can also watch the new JCQ video released this week, which covers exam day guidance, including handling question papers and how to run exams smoothly.

Plus, you can also access our free on-demand e-Learning for Exams Officers where our interactive module walks you through the process of maintaining exam paper security in your centre. 

Many of you will have uploaded your samples for moderation or assessment via our Learner Work Transfer System. We know you have all worked incredibly hard to understand and use the new system and we thank you for working to the deadlines given. On the whole we have heard lots of positive feedback that for most subjects it has made the process quicker and easier. As with any new system there are things we have learnt together this year and where there are improvements to be made we will look to do so.

If you have had delays to your uploads or need any support with late submissions then please contact us or please refer to the relevant support guides videos on our website to determine how and when you will need to use learner work transfer.  

ResultsPlus is our online results analysis tool for teachers. Included as part of your qualification fees, ResultsPlus gives you a detailed breakdown of your students’ performance in Pearson Edexcel exams and BTEC external assessments.   

Find out more and set up your ResultsPlus account today.  

New to the service is ResultsPlus Group Analysis. Developed to support multi-academy trusts and groups of schools, this service can provide senior leaders with a clear overall picture of student performance across all their schools in Pearson Edexcel exams and BTEC external assessments, and can also be used to analyse your mock exam results, making this service a valuable tool for use throughout the academic year.  

Take a look at our short video that explains how ResultsPlus Group Analysis will work for you.  

We’ll need to set up a separate account for your multi-academy trust or groups of schools, even if your own school is already set up with a ResultsPlus account.  

Please ensure you have created a ResultsPlus Group Analysis account before the end of term and be ready for results day.

We know that Exams Officers play a vital role in delivering assessments, and maintaining the integrity of our qualifications. Which is why we have a range of support you can access for Summer 2022.   

Support Articles  

You can also access our searchable library of support articles, which will answer most of your questions, without needing to pick up the phone. We think you’ll be interested in our indexed Exam admin support article, collating all the latest support for delivering exams. You can also find support articles on the following topics:

On-demand eLearning   

You can access our on-demand eLearning at any time. These short training modules are fully interactive, with pre-recorded step-by-step guidance from our Exams Officer training team. It's just like having a member of the team sat next to you, taking you through mock webpages and systems so you can understand processes from start to finish.   

Zoom sessions  

We're running a series of zoom events over the next few months for Exams Officers, to help you prepare for the coming summer exam session and to make sure you're ready to issue results successfully in August. We'll be covering news, updates and signposting to the support available to you. You can access a recording of our May event, which covers exam and guidance.  

Our next session is 9th June at 2pm, book your place today.

We have our Paper 2: Application of Computational Thinking, for GCSE (9-1) Computer Science taking place on Friday 27 May which is the first time that this assessment is to be taken onscreen for this qualification.

Our centre guidance includes the Instructions for Conducting Examinations (ICE) and Digital Submission Guidance that are both specifically related to GCSE (9-1) Computer Science as well role specific checklists to help support centre staff in delivering this assessment. We have also published our FAQs related to this qualification.  

For any centres that were unable to attend the live session relating to this qualification, you can view the recordings of the sessions below:  

Our Key Dates Finder enables you to find all of the key dates for Pearson general qualifications and subjects in one place. 

Here are those taking place in the next few weeks. 

  • 15 May – Deadline for centres to submit marks and moderation samples for GCSE, International GCSE, AS and A level, Project and Entry Level Certificate
  • 15 May - Deadline for centres to submit GCSE, AS and A level Geography Fieldwork Statement form
  • 16 May – Special Considerations application window opens
  • 16 May – GCSE, AS and A level examinations begin
  • 20 May – GCSE, International GCSE and A level MFL speaking test window closes
  • 21 May – GCSE, AS and A level Art & Design deadline for submission of centre marks, assessment documentation and candidate work for digital moderation
  • 24 June – GCSE, AS and A level Art & Design end of moderation visit window
  • 28 June – Last day of examination timetable for GCSE, AS and A level examinations
  • 29 June – Contingency day for GCSE, AS and A level examinations 

For more information on key dates for post results services please visit our Post-results services key dates web page.  

Lask week was Mental Health Awareness Week and provided an opportunity for everyone to reflect on the importance of mental health and wellbeing.     

During this time and all year round, our free resources are available to support teachers, students and families – from advice on coping with anxiety to fun activities to boost wellbeing.   

Explore our mental health and wellbeing support.

Have you signed up for your subject advisor updates?

Our team of subject advisors send out regular important communications about their specific subject areas including important information about assessments, support, events, resources and other key areas of information.  

Sign up for your subject advisor updates now.

Please take a look at our FAQ hub, and 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 web 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.

{{ gatDoctitle }}


Are you sure you want to exit this session?