This guide from the UK Government outlines the arrangements in place for awarding grades in summer 2021, and where you can go for additional information.
With several changes and clarifications over the previous week we wanted to explain what’s been happening regarding Centre Assessed Grades (known also as Teacher Assessed Grades of TAGs).Our Centre Policy which includes details on the process we will be going through to decide on the grades submitted to the examination boards – see attached file below. In this you can find the detail you will need to understand how the grades are being arrived at by your child’s teacher.
Unlike in 2020, students have agency over the grade they are awarded by studying for and performing well in the assessments. Your child’s teacher will tell them which evidence is being used for the grading process. However, they cannot ‘cherry pick’ the best evidence and must make a judgement from a reasonable number of evidence sources. Students who choose to not attend school are making it extremely difficult for their teachers to award a grade in line with their target grade.
Your child’s teacher will tell them which assessments are being used to generate the final grade. It’s very important that your child asks if they are at all unsure which assessments count.
Students continue to complete assessments within school. It’s important to know that the assessments suite must be broadly similar for students to ensure that teachers can make a ‘reasonable exercise of academic judgement’ to reach the final grade decisions. This may vary slightly for students within a course e.g., different books studied in English lessons but for most it will be a standard course assessment offer.
As stated previously, unlike last year the grades are based on evidence generated by the students (e.g., assessments) of actual performance rather than the model from 2020 of ‘potential performance’ in an examination which did not take place in the Summer of ’20.
Teachers cannot discuss likely grades with students or hint at where the final grade may or may not be.
The school must keep all evidence of assessments taken on or after the 24thMarch 2021. Subject leaders can decide to use evidence before this date e.g., assessments from the Autumn term of Year 11.
Special consideration will only be applied in the most extreme of circumstances and only account for up to a 5% uplift in marks.
SEND access arrangements (support for students with identified needs within examination settings) continue to be delivered by the SEND and teaching team. If you feel your child is not getting the support they need, it’s critical that you contact Lesley Milloy, SENCO at firstname.lastname@example.org to make the team aware. Fixing issues now is a great deal easier than going through the appeals process in August.
All of our teaching staff are undergoing training with nationally recognised providers to ensure they are aware of unintentional bias and objectivity.
Governors are undergoing training in May to ensure they understand the process teachers and the Academy is going through and challenge any concerns they have with our systems.
I’m sure it’s clear from the extensive list above how much hard work is going on in school to ensure that assessments are set fairly, marking is completed reliably and grades set objectively to ensure that we comply with the Centre Policy. As we’ve said from the beginning, please do get in touch if you have any questions. We’re here to help and guide your child through this unique year of grading.