In response to the cancellation of exams and the release of the Ofqual consultation I wanted to share with you our position in relation to the awarding of teacher assessed grades (TAGS). I want to assure that we will approach this process with honesty, integrity and a high degree of professionalism.
As you know grades this year will be awarded through teacher judgements, not graded by an algorithm. They will be based on a combination of evidence that has already been assessed and evidence that is yet to be assessed. This assessment of the TAGS will be conducted over the coming weeks both prior to and after the Easter break. Our students will only be assessed on content that they have been taught and our subject teachers will make it clear to students what evidence will be used to inform their judgements. This assessed evidence will include:
- Mocks, tests and some pieces of work already completed, which may have informed past projected grades or mock grades.
- Upcoming mini-assessments, which will all be planned for and conducted in lessons. The key word here is mini.
- Non-exam assessments (NEA), where applicable, although they may not be fully completed.
- A balance of practical and theoretical performance in relevant subjects. Art & design grades will be based only on student portfolios.
- Where applicable, a consideration of mitigating factors that may have affected student performance and in-line with awarding bodies’ guidance.
It is important our Year 11 and 13 students understand that their attendance, participation and completion of work could all be used as evidence. Our advice to them all is to do their best in all lessons. The delivery of new content has stopped and the preparation for mini-assessments has commenced. There will be no mini-assessments scheduled in classes until the week commencing 22nd of March to allow students time to get back into routines and to settle. There will also be none scheduled after 11th of May so that teachers may assess, moderate and quality assure all judgements fairly and robustly..
There will be numerous checks and balances in place to ensure that TAGS are accurate, are fair to the students and that they align with previous assessments. Final TAGS will be submitted to awarding organisations by the deadline 18th of June.
The timeline below provides a breakdown of how the TAGS process will work.
Students that have special educational needs and are entitled to exam access arrangements will be catered for with mini-assessments. They will receive extra time allocations and support as they would in normal assessment circumstances, should they choose to.
Please remember that at no point can any member of staff discuss TAGS with students or parents. Teachers will politely deny any student or parental requests so we would ask that you do not put them in a difficult situation by asking difficult questions that they are unable to answer. Ofqual has clearly communicated that TAGS must not be discussed or shared before results day.
Results days are on 10th August for A-level & L3 vocational and 12th August for GCSEs & L2 vocational.
Should students feel that the TAGS that they have been awarded are not representative of their demonstrated ability then they have the right to appeal. We are still awaiting full confirmation of how the process will work but once we do have more information we will post details on our website.
As Head of Centre I will be asked to sign-off all teacher assessed grades. I will aim to make sure that the process is fair, equitable and consistent and that our students are fully recognised for their efforts and achievements.