Teacher Assessed Grades - GCSEPod


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Teacher Assessed Grades

GCSE’s Summer 2021

GCSE exams will not be going ahead as planned this summer. On Thursday, 25 February 2021 Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced that GCSE results in this academic year will be determined by Teacher Assessed Grades, with students only assessed on what they have been taught.

GCSEPod is here to support teachers in gathering evidence for their assessed grades. We have launched ‘Exam-Style Assignments’ to assist with this process.

Key Dates for Teacher Assessed Grades

22 March – 22 April: Entry amendments window open for centres

31 March: Additional assessment materials (sets out questions, mark schemes and mapping)

26 April: Entry deadline for private candidates

12 April to 30 April: Window for centre policy submission

19 April: Additional support materials (grading exemplification) and additional sets of questions publicly available

19 April to 11 June: Awarding organisations review centre policies and conduct virtual visits where needed

26 April: Entry deadline for private candidates

26 May to 18 June: Window for teacher assessed grades submission opens via awarding organisations’ respective portals

18 June to 16 July: Exam boards conduct sample checks of evidence. In exceptional circumstances, sample checks may take place until July 23.

12 August: GCSE and relevant other level 2 results day

Priority appeals window (10 August to 7 September):

  • 10 August to 16 August: students can request a centre review
  • 10 August to 20 August: centres conduct a centre review
  • 11 August to 23 August: centre submits appeal to awarding organisation

Majority of non-priority appeals take place (10 August to end October): 

  • 10 August to 3 September: students can request a centre review
  • 10 August to 10 September: centre conducts centre review
  • 11 August to 17 September: centre submits appeal to awarding organisation

Types of assessment evidence specified by Ofqual

Ofqual recommends the following types of evidence:

  1. Work produced by students relating to past papers, groups of questions being provided by exam boards to support evidence gathering, or similar materials such as sample or practice papers.
  2. Coursework, even if it has not been fully completed (Non-exam assessments).
  3. Work completed as part of a set task, which is marked in a way that reflects the exam board mark schemes. This includes substantial class or homework, including any work done on GCSEPod.
  4. Records of student capability and performance throughout their studies in performance-based subjects such as PE, drama, and music.
  5. Records of each student’s standard of work throughout their studies.

Ofqual states that centres should take into account the following factors when deciding how to balance different sources of evidence:

When evidence was produced

Recent evidence is more likely to be representative of student performance although exceptions may be made, for example if a student has suffered ill health since they completed earlier assessments.

What students were asked to do

The expectation is that centres will aim to use consistent sources of evidence for each class/cohort in line with the specified requirements laid out above. Any rationale for exceptions made in evidence gathering must be documented. Centres will need to provide accessible questions and tasks for lower attaining students and appropriately demanding questions and tasks for higher attaining students to support higher grades, much like tiered GCSE content that already exists for higher tier students.

How the evidence was produced

Work produced and utilised for teacher assessed grades must be the students’ own without inappropriate levels of support in centre, at home, or with a tutor. Exam boards will investigate instances where evidence appears to be unauthentic.

Students: What do Teacher Assessed Grades mean for you?

Are you currently a Y11 secondary school student? You will be given an assessed grade on a subject-by-subject basis this summer.

Teachers will submit your teacher assessed grades no later than 18 June 2021 and results days will take place in the week of 9 August 2021.

If you are studying a VTQ (Vocational and Technical Qualification), you will also receive a teacher assessed grade by teachers rather than sitting exams. This is because VTQs are often taught alongside GCSEs on one or two-year courses, and used for university or college placements. Necessary exams and assessments (usually practical) will continue for VTQs where they are needed to demonstrate a professional standard for an occupation.

Teacher Assessed Grades guidance for parents & carers

Many schools (centres) have now had the opportunity to put a process in place for Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs) in line with the guidance provided by Ofqual. Schools will follow the guidelines of each individual exam board and utilise the resources they provide.

It is expected that most schools who have already held mock exams for Year 11, will hold an assessment window for students beginning some time in May. It is important that centres complete mocks/assessments because Ofqual states that this year it is important for the students final grades reflect their current performance.

Teachers: What do Teacher Assessed Grades mean for you and your students?

You will give a teacher assessment grade on a subject-by-subject basis. Your assessments must be submitted on or before 18 June 2021 with results days taking place in the week of 9 August 2021. 

How will the awarding body ensure fair GCSE results?

Adverse reports from some media outlets suggest that a teacher based exam assessment could potentially result in grade inflation, whereby students could receive a higher grade than they deserve.

Schools (and other education settings), alongside exam boards, will conduct multiple checks to ensure that correct processes are followed in order to ensure fairness.