June 2021 Design and Technology update | Pearson qualifications

June 2021 Design and Technology update

11 June 2021

Wecome to you June 2021 update.

In this update, we are focusing on the latest updates for summer 2021 awarding. As you know the TAG submission deadline is 18 June. The portal for TAG submission is live, meaning you can now submit learner TAGs. Further information and guidance on the process below. 

In this months update, you will also be able to access the contextual challenges for GCSE Design and Technnology NEA, for summer 2022 certification. 

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Contextual challenges for GCSE Design and Technology NEA

On the 1 June 2021, we have published the new set of contextual challenges which is applicable for summer 2022 awarding. 

Learners must select one of the contextual challengs to initate their design journey. See link below to access the contextual challenges. 

Are the NEA adaptations for summer 2022 confirmed?

As you know, Ofqual has proposed to carry forward the adaptations from summer 2021 to summer 2022. We are waiting for the outcome of the Ofqual consultation to be able to confirm the adaptations for summer 2022.


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Upcoming dates on the timeline

  • June 18 2021 - Deadline for submission of teacher assessed grades
  • June 18 2021 - Deadline for submission of endorsement grades
  • June 21 2021 - Confirmation of stage 3 sample communicated to centres
  • June 21-23 2021 - Submission of sample evidence to Awarding Organisations

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The teacher assessed grades portal is now available to use. To be able to use the TAG portal, access to "capture" setting must be selected on edexcel online. This can be done by the exams officers at your centre. 

We recommend that if you haven’t already, you log in at your earliest convenience and check that the login and user profiles are correct for those staff that require access. Please also check that the candidate details and entries are correct and if there are any omissions or changes needed then please action them yourself via EOL or EDI. Should you discover any required changes after 18 June please contact us as soon as possible via email to eprocessing@pearson.com.

Below, you will be able to access guidance on how to use the portal. 

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Head of Centre Declaration

Once you have submitted your final teacher assessed grades, the Head of Centre will need to submit a declaration to us. This is completed in Edexcel Online and should only be done when all of the grades for your general qualifications have been submitted and checked.

JCQ Guidance

JCQ have released comprehensive guidance on the process for deriving grades this summer. 

Quality Assurance Stages 1 & 2

On behalf of the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ), Pearson has been sharing confirmation with centres where they have met the necessary requirement for their centre policy.

In a small number of cases Awarding Bodies are still reviewing policies so please do not worry if you haven’t heard from us yet. The non-receipt of this confirmation should not delay preparations for submitting teacher assessed grades.

Where further information has been requested by us, please ensure that you provide this as quickly as possible.

Quality Assurance Stage 3 - Submitting Evidence

As previously advised by Ofqual, Awarding Organisations will review all grades as part of their quality assurance processes. Once grades are received, every centre will be asked to provide samples of the evidence used to determine the grades for their students. Awarding Organisations will request at least the following evidence:

  • one A level subject (at least five students)
  • two GCSE subjects, one of which is likely to be either English language or maths (at least five students for each ).

Centres that offer only A levels or only GCSEs will be asked to submit only work for those qualifications. Centres will be told which A warding Organisation they need to submit to, as the upload process may vary slightly across organisations.

The selected sample for your centre will be communicated via email from 21 June and needs to be submitted within 48 hours. We understand the pressure this places on centres and want to make sure that the process is as quick and efficient as possible, so we will be asking that evidence is provided in a digital format.

We will be releasing additional functionality for the submission of evidence to Pearson. All users within your centre that have the ‘Capture’ profile on Edexcel Online will be able to upload evidence via the same portal that you submitted your TAGs.

When accessing the TAG Portal, you will be presented with a new ‘Sample Upload’ menu item. On this page you will be presented with a list of the selected subjects and students against which you will be able to upload your sample files.

Further detailed guidance on the process for this, together with step-by-step instructions and the range of file types allowed will be published early next week so that you can familiarise yourself ahead of the window for submission of evidence.

On 8 June Ofqual and the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) published their guidance for appeals in 2021. These are important documents that outline the processes that will be in place for this summer’s appeals process.

Ofqual Statutory guidance: appeals under the GQAA regulatory framework

JCQ A guide to appeals processes Summer 2021 series

You might find it helpful to start with the introduction for Heads of centre and senior leaders, at the start of the JCQ document, which highlights some activities which could be completed before the end of term to help reduce the number of appeals and to help ensure the appeals process runs smoothly.

  • Apprendix F contains a checklist of actions which centres might wish to use to help reduce the number of appeals on results day.
  • Appendix C contains a list of the evidence which Awarding Organisations will need in the event of an appeal, and which centres might want to review now to ensure that all the documentation that will be needed is readily available.

You can also take a look at our overview video on the appeals process for this summer.

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Further information can be found on our Appeals summer 2021 web page, including information on the appeals process and guidance for our international qualifications.

Appeals summer 2021 page

Just a reminder that our Professional Development Academy is regularly updated with guidance and support in the form of checklists, video presentations, infographics, live event recordings and step-by-step guides to support you in determining fair grades for your students so they can progress on to their next stage.

In addition to this, subject support guides, can be found on the individual qualification pages. Please make sure that all teachers have seen these guides. Full details and links to each qualification can be found on our summer 2021 support page under the ‘Summer 2021 Grading Support’ section

The provisional timetables for UK GCSE and GCE qualifications in October and November can now be found on our website. See link below. These are subject to consultation and we will let you know when the final timetables are completed. If you have any feedback, please contact us through the Pearson Support Page by the Monday 21 June.

The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) have also published their key dates document for the exceptional Autumn series.

Centres should note that we, along with other awarding bodies, will only be offering AS Biology, Chemistry, Further Mathematics, Mathematics and Physics this autumn.

The timetable for the standard GCSE November series, GCSE English Language and Mathematics, was confirmed in December 2020 and will not be changing.

Provisional timetables

Provisional dates for GCSE and A level autumn series exams are as below. 

  • 11 October, AM - A level D&T 9DT0 01
  • 18 November, PM - GCSE D&T 1DT0 (1A,1B,1C,1D,1E,1F) 

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