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Adaptations guidance – update

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Written by
UAL Awarding Body
Published date
28 September 2020

Following the reopening of colleges and schools after the summer break, we understand that the year ahead will continue to pose logistical challenges and we will all need to work together to limit the impact of those on students.

Many of you have worked hard in recent weeks to adapt timetabling, access to resources, and delivery models. It is great to hear that the strategies and approaches you have told us about are designed to ensure that students can still have a rich and meaningful creative experience this year.

We are in the advanced stages of preparing full, detailed adaptations and delivery guidance for centres. We are working with regulators and other awarding organisations to ensure a fair and joined-up approach for the year ahead that minimises the burden on centres. This guidance will reflect both the feedback we have had from centres and the principles Ofqual and regulators across the UK have asked awarding organisations to adhere to. We are making sure that any guidance we give safeguards consistency, fairness, validity and reliability, and comparability this year.

Our approach will be to provide a framework which gives centres the freedom to innovate and deliver high-quality creative learning experiences where full-time face-to-face delivery is not possible.

Some of the key aspects of the guidance are:

  • A new comprehensive package of online support and quality assurance measures
  • Some mandatory requirements, and some optional guidance; in particular, we will be requiring centres to work with us to bank assessment evidence at key points in the academic year
  • Specific guidance for externally assessed qualifications
  • More of our interaction with centres will be online than in previous years
  • Building resilience and clarifying flexible ways that summative units (final major projects) can still be delivered if there is disruption.

This last point is especially important. This summer, we know that some students and centres were disappointed at not being able to complete final major projects, while others were anxious about the possibility of having to do so under difficult conditions.

We hope for minimum disruption to you and your students this year, but we are preparing for a range of scenarios, from the reduced capacity we already know about, to temporary site closures should they become necessary. Our whole approach will embed resilience, ensuring we can work together to react to events positively and with confidence for your students.

We expect to be able to distribute our full guidance and support package to centres in the coming weeks and will keep you up-to-date with developments.

If you have any urgent concerns or feedback, you can contact us at comms.awarding@arts.ac.uk.

Please note that, at this stage, we are not able to advise individual centres on specific delivery models. We would, however, reassure you that many of the blended and flexible approaches we are hearing about from our centres are in our minds as we finalise the framework.

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