General Qualifications Bulletin - UK - Issue 33 | Pearson qualifications

General Qualifications Bulletin - UK - Issue 33

8 June 2022

Dear Colleague

I hope you have all had a nice half term and enjoyed celebrating the Platinum Jubilee over the weekend, I particularly enjoyed the fly past and the concert at Buckingham Palace. 

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Thank you for all that you continue to do to make sure that this examination series runs as smoothly as possible. We have had lots of standardisation meetings taking place with thousands of examiners attending over the last few weeks, thank you to those of you who have been in attendance. Our scanners in Yorkshire are working around the clock to get the millions of exam scripts into our online marking system and available for examiners to mark. I’ll keep you updated on how this is going as we continue through the series.  

Alongside maintaining the security of examination scripts, I also ask that you remain vigilant to cyber attacks. We have been made aware of some suspicious emails that are being sent to a small number of centres. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) website has some helpful information about free security checks you can undertake that can help to keep your networks secure.  

And lastly, I hope you will join us this June in celebrating Pride month where we recognize and celebrate the many contributions by the LGBT+ community – not just in the UK, but around the world.    

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  

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 you have made late entries, have made late tier changes or 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.

Don’t forget to read 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 JCQ video, 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 on our website, where our interactive module walks you through the process of maintaining exam paper security in your centre.

Please make sure you remain vigilant about potential cyber-attacks. We are aware of a small number of centres that have been targeted with a suspicious email that contained a virus.  If you you are unsure about any emails, do not open them or click on any links. Contact your IT department for support.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) website has some helpful information about free security checks you can undertake.  

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 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 free 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

As with any series we do accept late entries and tier changes. If you miss the entry deadline, you can still make entries or changes via EDI or Edexcel Online, but you will be charged late or amendments fees and there may be an impact on question paper delivery.   

We reserve the right to refuse late entries, or to charge additional fees to cover costs incurred by accepting them. For some subjects, we won't accept late entries if it's too late to allocate an examiner or send assessment material.

If you make late entries more than 72 hours before the exam we will make every effort to send you hardcopy papers if you do not already have stock subject to availability. These orders will be tracked and SFT’s scheduled as contingency.  If your late entries are less than 72 hours before the exam and you do not have sufficient stock, you should contact customer services to request an SFT.  If you had prior entries for that Subject and Paper, then you will also be able to download via SDS.   

If you now make a late application for a transferred candidate, we will either SFT the paper to you or if you have your own entries for the papers that the transferred candidate wishes to sit, you will be able to download from Secure Download Service (SDS). 

If you need to contact Customer Services regarding a Transferred Candidates application, please have your application reference number, host centre, candidate number and subject details to hand. 

Ahead of the Summer 2022 results days, we will be changing the way that hard copy results requests are recorded. All qualifications will now be opted out of receiving hard copy results as default.

The results documents available online consist of:

  • Broadsheets 
  • Component mark list
  • Contributing units report 
  • Candidate statement of provisional results (CSPRs) 

These documents are available to download in Edexcel Online as digital copies. The digital results documents will also be automatically populated in your Edexcel Online mailbox at midnight on the relevant Summer 2022 results date.

If you would still like to receive hard copy results documents, such as Candidate Statement of Provisional Results, and Component Results reports, please update your preferences on Edexcel Online.

Please visit Edexcel Online > select the relevant qualification > select Results > Report Delivery Options, to update your preferences.

Updates to preferences must be made by 15 July 2022 to ensure that any changes are captured ahead of Summer 2022 results.

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.   

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

As we enter the final weeks of the summer term, please do remember to set up your ResultsPlus account if you’ve not already done so.

Find out more and set up your ResultsPlus account today.

For multi-academy trusts and groups of schools, you’ll need to set up a separate account to use the new ResultsPlus Group Analysis service from results day.

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

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

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. 

  • 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 – Timetable contingency day for GCSE, AS and A level examinations
  • 5 July – Deadline for submitting requests for special consideration

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

Over the coming weeks we have a number of events related to teaching our specifications. We have network events, feedback events and getting ready to teach events amongst a wide range of others. Take a look at our Pearson Professional Development Academy page to see what events are taking place for your qualifications.  

Pearson Professional Development Academy 

As we approach the next phase of exam season, our exam wellbeing hub is here to help your students and their families at this important time.   

Our Wellbeing Zone also has free resources to support teachers, students and families all year round – from advice on coping with anxiety to fun activities to boost wellbeing. 

Our round up of DE&I developments across subjects.

Maths: check out the term 5 comprehension tasks on the Maths diversity page.

Design and Technology: share your views on DE&I in DT education by completing our survey.

BTEC qualifications: please complete our survey to help us understand how you teach and assess particular BTEC qualifications, understand how you implement adjustments, and identify any areas where Pearson need to make changes to help ensure all learners have equitable opportunities to access our qualifications, assessments, related products and services. 

You may well know who your Subject Advisor is but perhaps you’ve not been able to meet them in person over the last two years. We’ve created a new web page with photos of all our Subject Advisors, their contact details and Twitter accounts.   

Sign up to receive regular important communications about your subject area and follow your Subject Advisor on Twitter.

Meet your Subject Advisor  

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

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