General Qualifications Bulletin - UK - Issue 53

Wed Jan 17 16:30:00 UTC 2024

Dear Colleague, 

May I start by wishing you all a very happy New Year. I hope you all had a restful break, and the new term has started well for you.

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We welcome the new term with news from Ofqual and the DfE that formulae and equation sheets will be provided for students sitting GCSE Maths, GCSE Physics and GCSE Combined Science in the summer 2024 exam series, and for the November 2024 resits series for maths. You can read more detail below.

We’ve just had results day for students who sat GCSE English Language and GCSE Maths in the November resit window and we look forward to the first November International GCSE results day on 25 January. We will have our usual post-results support available and details can be found below, along with information on our new online form for appeals.

You may have seen in the news recently that we’re working to offer GCSE English students the choice to sit their exams onscreen from summer 2025 (subject to Ofqual approval). This is a very exciting development and I’m delighted that we’ll be able to offer students the opportunity to choose how they sit their GCSE English exams in the future. Find out more below.

As ever, if you need any more information or want to share any feedback with us, you can always get in touch via our support portal. We will always do our best to get you the answers as quickly as possible.

With best wishes,

Hayley White
Vice President, Assessment 

We hope you and your students had a successful GCSE Maths and GCSE English Language results day last week. With International GCSE results day on 25 January, here’s a reminder of our regular post-results support services that are available to you.

ResultsPlus

You can get a detailed breakdown of your students’ results through ResultsPlus, our online results analysis service.

Take a look at our ResultsPlus video that provides you with an overview of how ResultsPlus can help you learn more about how your students’ performance compares with class and Pearson Edexcel national averages.

Watch the video.

Access to Scripts 

You can view your candidates’ marked scripts online or download as a PDF, using our Access to Scripts service.

Find out more and take a look at our user guide and FAQs.

We now have a new online form for centres and private candidates to use when they wish to submit an application to appeal or request a review of an administrative decision. Using this webform will help to guide centres and private candidates in the information that needs to be provided in an application to appeal. This will help us to ensure we can process all applications promptly.

The online form is now available on our main Post-results services page. From January 2024 we will no longer accept appeal applications that are made directly to our appeals email inbox. Appeals submitted to the inbox prior to 1 January 2024 will be processed. Any applications sent to our appeals inbox after 1 January 2024 will be returned with a request to submit them using the online form.

Centres and private candidates must use the webform to submit appeals related to:

  • the outcome of reviews of marking/moderation (within 30 calendar days of the date of the decision)
  • the decisions made in relation to student or centre malpractice (within 14 calendar days of the date of the decision)
  • the decisions made in relation to access arrangements, special consideration, reasonable adjustments (within 14 calendar days of the date of the decision)
  • the outcome of a preliminary appeal in any of the areas above. An application for an appeal hearing must only be made once a preliminary appeal has been conducted and must be made within 14 calendar days of the date of the preliminary appeal decision.

Centres and private candidates must also use the online form to request the review of an administrative decision in areas such as decisions made in relation to very late arrivals and where we have issued an aegrotat (estimated grade). 

Further information on the appeals process can be found in the JCQ Appeals Booklet 2023.

Further information on appeals, including fees, can also be found on our Post-results services page.

General queries about issues that are not appeals should not be submitted on the appeals webform as we will not be able to process them. If you need help with a matter that is not an appeal, please contact our customer services team for assistance. This will ensure your query can be routed to the appropriate team without delay.

Ofqual and the DfE have confirmed the outcome of their consultation on the use of formulae and equation sheets for GCSE Maths and GCSE Sciences for summer 2024, and for the GCSE Maths resit in November.

The formulae and equation sheets will be available with the exam booklets in the summer, but you can download them now so your students can become familiar with them ahead of their exams.

The DfE and Ofqual have also confirmed the return to normal exam arrangements for these subjects in 2025, which means that formulae and equation sheets will not be available after 2024.

We can confirm that we will be taking the same approach for our International GCSE Physics and International GCSE Science Double and Science Single Awards (physics papers) where students will have access to a revised equation sheet for Summer 2024 exams. We’ll confirm when the 2024 equation sheet is available, for now you can use the equation sheet from 2023.

On 5 December we introduced our new app-based multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all users of Edexcel Online, replacing the email-based MFA. The app is now mandatory to access Edexcel Online via the Pearson Portal. If you've not done so already, you'll need to download the Pearson authenticator app to a smart device (such as a smart phone) to continue to access Edexcel online via the Pearson Portal.

This change means that every user will be required to use a smart device to receive a verification code each time they wish to access Edexcel Online or other applications accessed via the Pearson Portal. You can either use a centre provided device, or if you so wish, your own device. We understand some organisations ask for your telephone number as part of MFA, however, we can confirm that the Pearson app does not collect and/or use any personal data, including your mobile phone number.  

MFA adds an extra layer of security, requiring users to provide multiple forms of identification before granting access, significantly reducing the risk of unauthorized access; app-based MFA enhances this even further. It's also a more seamless and convenient user experience. Users can easily access authentication codes or approve login requests directly from their smartphones, eliminating the need for carrying additional hardware tokens or relying on less secure methods such as SMS/email.  

The Pearson Authenticator App is now readily available to download via the Google Play store and the Apple App Store. This app will not require any signal or data coverage beyond the initial installation, and once installed, it will not require any additional device access. You will need to scan a QR code via the in app QR reader, when registering your device. This will require one off access to your camera. We are aware that some applications do require a phone number as part of device registration; the Pearson app does not require this.  

To support you with this new process we've created some guidance and provided answers to questions you might have. You can read these Frequently Asked Questions in our Pearson Portal Authentication customer support article. Here we have also outlined the step-by-step process you need to follow for the initial download of the app, and how to use it moving forward.  

You should read this article in conjunction with our existing articles Logging in and Accessing Pearson services using the Pearson Portal and Edexcel Online access and logging in Troubleshooting.  

If you require any further information have any questions about this, please do get in touch with us through our Pearson Support Portal.   

Thank you for helping us to ensure we continue to protect student and centre data. 

As always, our essential information guide is available for you to access throughout the academic year. This guide is designed to aid you with frequently asked questions and various processes that you might require assistance within your day-to-day activities as an Exams Officer.

In 2023 we unveiled the Pearson Development Hub - a designated space specifically tailored for exams officer training. You can sign up for our monthly live Exams Officer events where we’ll walk you through the latest news, updates, and upcoming processes for the weeks ahead, providing you with the opportunity to pose any questions you may have. Don’t worry if you miss one, you can also view recordings of previous events on our Pearson Development Hub.

And if you’ve not done so already, do sign up for our regular Exams Officer updates to get all the latest news, information and support sent straight to your inbox.

Modified papers

A quick reminder that the deadline for ordering modified papers for the summer 2024 exams is the 31 January 2024. We offer a variety of modified papers to suit many different access needs and it is so important that students are able to get the support they need to perform their best in their exams. 

We’ve been carrying out some research with the National Association for Special Educational Needs (NASEN) to gain a deeper understanding of how UK secondary schools, and students with additional access requirements, utilise modified exam papers from various exam boards, as well as to implement the findings to create a more inclusive and accessible exam environment.

Take a look at our case studies from two students who use modified papers and see just how important modified papers are to them.

GCSE Religious Studies Interactive marking resource

In order to support teachers with the amended (d) level descriptors for our GCSE 12-mark 'Evaluation' questions, we’ve published an interactive marking training resource.  This resource supports teacher understanding on how the amended level descriptors are applied to a range of exemplar answers, and allows teachers the opportunity to practice applying the new level descriptors before listening to examiner commentary and analysis.  

It includes a range of example answers from a range of religions, across the mark and level range.  

We have two versions available: one provides an interactive PowerPoint Show version, and the second provides a printable PDF version. We hope you find them useful.

Interactive version

PDF version

Art & Design

See below for the latest news and information for Art & Design.

  • Take a look at the new Component 2 Scheme of Work published for GCSE Art and Design. 
  • Download our new GCSE and A level Art & Design document packs for Head of Subject 2023-2024 which collate important documents from our website to help centres preparing for internal marking and standardisation. You can find them under 'Guidance for centres'.
  • Download the GCSE pack
  • Download the A level pack

Our free face-to-face training continues this term in London, Birmingham and York:

GCSE Art and Design (9-1): Face-to-face coursework marking training – book your place

A level Art and Design: Face-to-face coursework marking training – book your place

On 1 February 2024 the Externally Set Assignment paper for A level Art & Design will be available to download from our website under 'June 2024'. An Edexcel Online login is required to download secure materials such as the ESA with more information available through our support article: Accessing Secure Materials.

Design and Technology - NEA support materials and exemplars

As part of our ongoing commitment to supporting our GCSE Design and Technology qualification, we are pleased to launch a wide range of NEA guidance materials alongside a new approach to exemplars for the subject. Please take a look at the email we sent out to centres this week with full details of all the NEA support materials.

Subject Advisor support 

Make sure you’re signed up to receive all the latest news and updates from your Subject Advisor.

You can also find out more about the support your Subject Advisor offers by watching a short video they’ve each created.

Take a look at your Subject Advisor's video and sign up for your subject newsletter today.

You may have seen in the news recently that we’re working to offer every GCSE English student the choice to sit their exams onscreen from summer 2025 (subject to Ofqual approval).

Building on the success of our onscreen GCSE and International GCSE exams to date, we’re excited to be opening up more ways for all students to best show what they know and can do in GCSE English Language, GCSE English Literature and GCSE English Language 2.0. 

Discover more about onscreen exams

We will be publishing our provisional timetables for Summer 2025 on Monday 22 January as agreed by JCQ and all other awarding bodies.

They will be available on our Provisional timetables page

The consultation window will run from Monday 22 January to Friday 23 February.
Please do send any comments to timetables@pearson.com

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 during January 2024.

Date

Qualification

Exam
series

Description

24 Jan 24

International GCSE

Nov 23

Restricted release of results to centres

25 Jan 24

International GCSE

Nov 23

Release of results to candidates

25 Jan 24

GCSE English Language and Mathematics

Nov 23

Final date for requesting copies of scripts to support reviews of marking - Access to Scripts Service

30 Jan 24

Project and Edexcel Award

Jan 24

Deadline to submit special consideration requests

15 Feb 24

GCSE English Language and Mathematics

Nov 23

Final date for requesting copies of scripts to support teaching and learning – Access to Scripts Service

15 Feb 24

GCSE English Language and Mathematics

Nov 23

Final date for clerical checks, reviews of marking, reviews of moderation or other results enquiries (e.g. Missing and Incomplete Results) 

21 Feb 24

All general qualifications

June 24

Entry deadline (UK centres)

22 Feb 24

All general qualifications

June 24

Late entry fees will be charged from this date (UK centres)

28 Feb 24

GCSE English Language and Mathematics

Nov 23

Date by which certificates will be issued

6 Mar 24

Project and Edexcel Award

Jan 24

Restricted release of results to centres

7 Mar 24

Project and Edexcel Award

Jan 24

Release of results to candidates

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

We're looking for knowledgeable and passionate individuals to become Pearson examiners for the 2024 exam series across a wide range of subjects.

Becoming an examiner is a great way to deepen your subject expertise, spread your assessment knowledge within your department and acquire valuable insights into the assessment process, empowering you to better prepare your learners for their exams. 

You can enjoy the convenience of working remotely, fitting it around your other commitments, and augmenting your income. It can also help you build your professional networks and benefit from opportunities for progression and continuous professional development.

View the current opportunities

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