Summer 2022 Contingency Arrangements

Mon Nov 22 00:00:00 UTC 2021

This update is about the contingency arrangements that are being put in place in the unlikely event that examinations cannot take place in Summer 2022.

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Summer 2022 Contingency Arrangements for UK qualifications

The following information applies to centres offering UK regulated qualifications such as AS and A level Politics. It also applies to overseas centres that are offering these qualifications. 

The Department for Education and Ofqual have confirmed that if exams had to be cancelled in summer 2022, students’ grades would instead be determined by their teachers, using a  Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs ) approach similar to that used in summer 2021. TAGs are based on teachers’ assessment of their students’ work.   

Detailed information on how TAGs would be determined in summer 2022 will only be published if exams are cancelled. At that point, we would take account of the timing of the decision, the reason for the decision and any public health restrictions in place at the time, as well as lessons learned from the 2021 arrangements, and would provide further guidance to centres. In the meantime, teachers should teach and assess their students as they would throughout the year, in line with the guidance below, to gather the evidence they would use to determine TAGs, in case they are needed.

Ofqual guidance on collecting evidence

Ofqual has published specific guidance for teachers on how they should collect
evidence of student performance which could be used towards a TAG in the
unlikely event that exams are cancelled next summer.

A summary of this guidance is provided below.

Conditions under which students should be assessed

  • Students should be assessed under exam-like conditions wherever possible – controls may be provided within a classroom rather than exam hall.
  • For example, students:
    - should not know the questions beforehand
    - should work independently and without assistance
    - should not have access to books or revision notes
    - the assessment should be timed and supervised.
  • Wherever possible, a centre must either assess all of its students who are taking a particular qualification using the same material at the same time or using different materials at different times.
  • If its not possible to assess the whole cohort at same time, the assessment approach should be consistent within a centre, eg students assessed using the same style of assessment (but not the same questions).

When students should be assessed

  • Centres should plan assessment opportunities to a timetable – approaches may vary based on what assessments have already taken place.
  • A sensible approach for assessments:
    - second half of the autumn term 2021
    - spring term of 2022
    - first half of the summer term 2022.
  • Many centres will already have assessments planned to support students’ learning and some assessments may already have taken place – where possible these should be used to provide evidence to inform a possible TAG.
  • If assessments have already taken place under different conditions centres should exercise judgement over whether it would be appropriate, and in the interests of students, to contribute towards TAGs if needed.
  • Be prepared to explain the approach in centre policies for TAGs if necessary.

Time spent assessing students

  • Total assessment time should not normally exceed the total time students would spend taking exams for the relevant qualification.

Content on which students should be assessed

  • Students should be assessed on a wide range of content, similar to that which they will expect in the summer exams and across the assessment objectives for the qualification.
  • Assessment opportunities should provide evidence from broadly the same proportion of the specification as would normally be covered in exams.
  • If TAGs are necessary, they must only be on content students have been taught.

Assessment materials

  • Assessments should be as useful as possible for students preparing to take summer exams – past papers could be used in full or part.
  • If teachers are designing their own assessments they must be in a similar style to our exam papers.

Student awareness

  • Where assessments are scheduled after publication of the Ofqual guidance, students must be told before they take each assessment that their performance in it would be used as part of the evidence to determine a TAG if exams are cancelled.
  • This information should be given sufficiently far in advance of the
    assessment to allow students time to revise and prepare.
  • Students should be told which parts of the subject content will be covered by the assessment, but they should not be told the questions in advance or be able to predict the questions from information given to them.
  • Teachers setting assessments after the advance information (A level History) for the summer 2022 exams has been published, should take that advance information into account when deciding how to assess their students.

Marking and feedback

  • Teachers should mark the assessments in line with published exam board mark schemes and guidance.
  • Students should be provided with feedback, which could include marks or comments.
  • Students should not be given the opportunity to repeat an assessment eg to improve their mark in response to feedback.
  • Teachers may tell the student the grade at which their performance in the assessment indicates they have performed – however make clear this is not a TAG – specific guidance on determining TAGs will be made available if exams cancelled.
  • Teachers should be clear that marking and grading have not been quality assured.

Retention of work

  • The original student work must be retained by the centre. Students may be given copies if this would help support their learning.

Further information and support for UK contingency arrangements

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