While exams are scheduled to go ahead in summer 2022 and a range of adaptations in place to help students, the Department for Education (DfE) in England and Ofqual today confirmed their contingency plans if exams were not able to take place. This follows a joint consultation on arrangements that apply to GCSEs, AS and A Levels and Extended Project qualifications. Letters have been sent to students, private candidates and schools and colleges about the plans.
If exams did not proceed, the DfE in England and Ofqual have confirmed that:
Decisions on appeals and overall quality assurance have not been confirmed.
Ofqual published new guidance today setting out what teachers should do during the rest of this academic year, until exams are taken, as a contingency. The guidance explains how to collect evidence from students in advance of any decision to cancel exams. It aims to help teachers “take a proportionate approach”, and advises that “where possible, centres’ existing assessment plans should be used”. Information on how TAGS would be determined in summer 2022 will only be published if exams cannot go ahead. Teachers must not attempt to determine TAGs unless exams are cancelled.
In addition, the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) has provided FAQs on topics such as malpractice and private candidates to support summer 2022 contingency planning.
For Cambridge Nationals and Cambridge Technicals and other vocational qualifications that are most similar to GCSEs, AS and A Levels, the intention is that results would be awarded using teacher assessed grades (TAGs), as they were in 2020/21. The process would be improved by providing tighter guidance on the evidence which TAGs would be based on. The approach to VTQ contingency arrangements is available within Ofqual’s Vocational and Technical Qualifications Contingency Regulatory Framework and in the DfE’s guidance on contingencies. We’ll be publishing more information in the coming days to support your contingency planning for our VTQs.
Above all, we’re committed to supporting teachers and students every step of the way during 2021/22. We will be adding information about evidence gathering and contingency arrangements to our own online FAQs. As part of today’s announcements, we’re also pleased to publish the extra formula and equation sheets that students taking our GCSE Maths, GCSE Combined Science and GCSE Physics exams will be able to use in their exams next summer.
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