June 2021 Construction update

11 June 2021

Welcome to your June 2021 subject update for Construction. 

In this months update you will find the latest information from the Construction sector, including information on submission of Q-TAGs on the portal, appeals this summer, an update on the BTEC Tech Award development and more.

The TAG portal is now fully functioning and the deadline to submit Q-TAGs is on the 18 June. By this date all Q-TAGs must be submitted on the portal. More information on these below.  

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QTAG deadline: 18 June 2021

In order for us to Quality Assure and process Q-TAGs before results day, centres have until the 18 June 2021 to submit their Q-TAGs to us. This means assessment evidence and alternative evidence on which to base a teacher judgement of the learner’s performance needs to be available and internally reviewed by the relevant Lead IV, senior managers and Heads of Department by this date, in order to be considered for the grade put forward.

Support for Q-TAGs

This guide is for centre staff who will be using Pearson’s Teacher Assessed Grades (TAG) submission portal in 2021. The portal is referred to as the ‘TAG Portal’ throughout this guide and will be used for relevant GCSE, AS, A-Level and BTEC qualifications.

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From the documents below, you can access all relevant gudiance for awarding Q-TAGs this summer for your certificating learners and information on mid-flight learners. 

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Here is a step-by-step decision flowchart and a video to help you make decisoins on Q-TAGs.

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Please download and view the list of BTEC qualifications to check whether your qualifications are identified as those where results will be issued based on a Teacher Assessed Grade.

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We continue to work with Ofqual, DfE and other VTQ Awarding Organisations to ensure that we have sufficient plans in place to respond to scenarios that may emerge as we come out of lockdown, and also to respond to the impact that the past 18 months has had on the provision of teaching, learning and assessment.

For now, and in line with our guidance , please report all internal assessments that were due, but could not take place due to the pandemic (scheduled to take place between 1 August 2020-31 August 2021), via the ‘Z Flag’ process. This can be used for all ‘B1’ BTEC qualifications, namely: Firsts, Nationals, Tech Awards and Technicals. If the assessment did take place, you should of course report the unit grade awarded using the ‘interim’ function. If learners have assessments that are due to take place next year, you should not report anything against those units, as you have not yet assessed them.

For mid-flight learners we anticipate that a TAG (component or qualification-level) will be requested by Pearson during the learner’s year of certification. At the time of writing, this will apply only to those units which were due to be assessed between 1 August 2020 – 31 August 2021, including external assessments.

The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) has published A Guide to Appeals Processes - Summer 2021.

This guide provides details of the appeals process for GCSEs, GCE AS/A levels which will be awarded using Teacher Assessed Grades (Q-TAGs) for summer 2021. There will be a two-stage appeals process with Stage One being a centre review and Stage Two being an awarding organisation appeal. Students will be able to request a centre review and once that has been concluded they may proceed to an awarding organisation appeal, if they wish to.

The information provided in the JCQ guide will also apply to BTEC qualifications that are awarded using Q-TAGs. We have aimed to keep the appeals process as similar as possible to the process for GCSEs and GCE AS/A levels. However, in order to make sure the process is suitable for BTEC, there are a few areas where the appeals approach for BTECs will vary slightly from the approach for GCSEs and GCE AS/A levels. These have been detailed in our BTEC Appeals Summer 2021 document, which is available on our dedicated web page, under the guidance section called 'The appeals process'.

The key differences relate to:

  • The requirements to upload evidence to support academic judgement appeal applications
  • Access to the regulators’ Exams Procedures Review Service
  • The evidence checklist contained in appendix C of JCQ guide (we have provided a BTEC evidence checklist)
  • How to contact us to correct errors.

We have also published Preparing for appeals for BTEC Qualifications, to help centres to prepare for the centre review and appeals processes. We have identified key sections of the JCQ Appeals guide which you may find particularly helpful as you prepare before grades are submitted, after grades are submitted and from results day.

We are yet to confirm any associated fees regarding our appeals services. We will keep you updated as soon as this information is confirmed and available.

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In this issue

  • BTEC - Key dates for qualifications most similar to GCSEs and A-Levels (B1)
  • BTEC – Q-TAG External Quality Assurance checks – reminder
  • BTEC – Submitting Q-TAG when all assessment is completed
  • BTEC - Mid-flight learners
    BTEC – Tech Awards and ‘Z Flag’ functionality
  • BTEC - Standards Verification sampling for ‘B1’ BTECs
  • BTEC - Category ‘B2’ qualifications – Notification of Performance (NOPs)
    Appeals update
  • BTEC - Updated Childcare guidance
    Reminder – video guides
  • BTEC - Reminder - Delivery of key units for Higher Education
  • Results Day embargo and UCAS Track
  • Functional Skills and EPA – Remote Invigilation is now live
  • General qualification news.

The BTEC FAQs have been frequently updated to answer frequently asked questions in relation to summer 2021 awarding. You can access FAQs in the link below. 

As you are aware, following a consultation on arrangements for assessing vocational and technical qualifications this summer the DfE confirmed in February that students would be able to receive a Teacher Assessed grade for the core component of their T Level this summer.

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Access materials to support TAGs for T levels in Construction below:

Access the awarding results in summer 2021 support page from the link below:

Awarding results in summer 2021 


BTEC Tech Award in Construction- Redevelopment for first teaching September 2022

In September 2020 the DfE published the technical guidance for KS4 qualifications to be included in 2024 performance tables in England. In order to meet these new requirements, Pearson has submitted a newly developed BTEC Tech Award in Construction qualification for approval for 2024 performance tables. Following approval, they will be available for first teaching September 2022.

We've retained many key features of our current BTEC Tech Awards:

  • Simple 3 component structure in most sectors
  • Current Tech Awards have 40% external assessment, so no change was needed to meet new requirements.

New additions to meet KS4 performance measure requirements will include:

  • Engaging Pearson Set Assignments for internal components, released with plenty of time for preparation and assessment to suit your programme timetable
  • Mark-based and moderated assessments that are compensatory within each component and across the qualification giving learners more opportunities to achieve.

We will be launching draft specifications later this year following regulator feedback and will be holding launch events at that time.

Sign up to receive updates on the BTEC Tech Award redevelopment

T level Construction training and network events

There are various training events available for T levels in Construction and you can view and book on to these from the training page. See link below to access the training page and filter for Construction to access the events. 

Training from Pearson


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