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Centre guidance for producing Teacher Assessed Grades

Blue textiles with different patterns
Blue textiles with different patterns
Textiles by Laetitia Forst
Written by
UAL Awarding Body
Published date
30 March 2021

Centre guidance on producing Teacher Assessed Grades

UAL Awarding Body has been working with qualification regulator Ofqual and Department for Education to finalise details for how grades and qualifications will be awarded. We are pleased to have published a full set of instructions for centres on how to work with us this year to produce grades for students on UAL Awarding Body qualifications. Regulators and all parts of the system have been collaborating across UK nations, so this approach will apply in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

In response to feedback and questions from our centres since the release of this guidance, we have revised the documentation for producing Teacher Assessed Grades this year. We have added the following documents to the guidance pack:

  • Updated ITAG and GTAG forms (these replace previously published versions and should be used for all submissions)
  • Exemplar forms
  • Centre FAQs
  • Key dates for Super Users
  • Operational process for Super Users

In addition to these documents, Ofqual have created Guidance for centres on making judgements that will support awarding in 2021. This guidance has been designed to help teachers make judgements as objectively as possible, to promote fairness and minimise bias. You can also find this information in our guidance pack.

How grades will be produced

Many of our processes and requirements this year are similar to last year, but with improvements and enhancements. That process was seen as manageable for centres and fair for students, so we are aiming to replicate the best of that experience while making improvements in line with more detailed guidance from regulators.

Most of our qualifications culminate in a final assessed unit which brings together the learning from across all units. For these qualifications, a Teacher Assessed Grade will be produced at Qualification level. Students who are part-way through a Level 3 Extended Diploma, completing in 2022, will also be awarded a Teacher Assessed Grade for the Diploma stage this Summer. A small number of our qualifications are structured differently. For these qualifications, Component-level Teacher Assessed Grades will be produced and contribute toward a final grade.

Ofqual have also produced this helpful explainer tool which allows you to search for qualifications and find out how they will be dealt with this year, including all UAL Awarding Body qualifications.

There are important minimum evidence requirements for all Teacher Assessed Grades to ensure standards and confidence. The process, however, is designed to be as inclusive as possible. It will draw on a wide range of reliable evidence that reflects creative learning and will enable UAL Awarding Body to award the most valid and fair grades for students. It will also take into account individual circumstances in relation to the pandemic.

As detailed in our guidance, all Teacher Assessed Grades must undergo a process of internal quality assurance at centres before being submitted to UAL Awarding Body. It is important that centres factor in time to meet this requirement. All Teacher Assessed Grades must be submitted to UAL Awarding Body by end of the day 18 June.

Role of awarding organisations and regulators

The aim is to ensure that all students achieving qualifications in 2021 can be assured they have been awarded fair and meaningful results that take account of the pandemic and can be confidently compared across the whole system. Following extensive consultation, Ofqual recently published detailed regulatory decisions and explanations for this approach. UAL Awarding Body’s guidance is designed to meet these requirements.

Teacher Assessed Grades will be a crucial component in results this year, but it is important for students and parents to know that these are one step in a process overseen by awarding organisations and qualification regulators. We are really pleased that teachers’ professional expertise is being used to help address the disruption caused by Covid, and, as always, this is part of a wider qualification awards process for which awarding organisations will still be ultimately responsible. This will ensure universities and employers across the UK can have confidence in results, and it avoids teachers coming under undue pressure on grades.

UAL Awarding Body will be working closely with centres to externally quality assure teacher assessed grades. We will be using highly experienced quality assurance experts to sample and interrogate decisions to ensure that consistent and accurate grades are awarded this Summer. Our technical staff and Board of Examiners will scrutinise and ratify decisions. They will also ensure that grades are free from bias and discrimination.

Key dates

Ofqual and Department for Education have set clear parameters for awarding organisations to work to this year, including the key deadlines by which key activities must be guided. Our approach aligns fully with those requirements.

1 April: Guidance issued to centres for producing Teacher Assessed Grades

16 - 29 April: Standardisation training events for teaching staff

26 April: Detailed UAL Online Portal guidance will be sent to centre Super-users

27 April: Super-user training conference

4 June – 18 June: Window for centres to submit Teacher Assessed Grades to UAL Awarding Body

18 June: Deadline for all Teacher Assessed Grades to be submitted to UAL Awarding Body

21 June – 2 July: Centres will be contacted by our External Quality Assurors to sample evidence for Teacher Assessed Grades. Centres must make sure an appropriate teacher or other member of staff with access to the evidence for Teacher Assessed Grades is available during this window.

10 August: Level 3 and 4 results day

12 August: Level 1 and 2 results day

27 August: Appeals deadline for all Level 1,2,3 and 4 results.

Training and support for centre staff

All teaching staff who will be involved in producing Teacher Assessed Grades this year should sign up to one our online standardisation training events. These will help prepare centres for producing and submitting Teacher Assessed Grades.

Centres have already received preparatory visits from our External Quality Assurance experts this year to ensure readiness. These External Quality Assurors will next be allocated to centres to sample and analyse grading judgements. Any significant concerns will be raised with centres in dialogue in the first instance. This is to ensure that all contextual factors are understood and accounted for.

Disadvantage, discrimination and appeals

Although there has been disruption to learning again this year, significant adaptations and flexibilities were in place from awarding organisations before colleges and school closures in 2021. These adaptations were designed to mitigate the effects of different student situations and characteristics, such as SEND.

Our policies on reasonable adjustments and special considerations, taken together with our approach to generating results this year, are designed to minimise the risk of disadvantage to students. There are safeguards in the process against bias or discrimination, and this is an area that will be closely monitored throughout the process.

As a final safeguard, a specific comprehensive appeals policy, as set out in the guidance, will apply this year.

Students who received a Centre Assessed Grade last year

We are conscious that, for many students, this will be the second year of significant disruption in a row. Evidence from our 2020 results suggests that Centre Assessed Grades for UAL Awarding Body qualifications were reliable and fair. Therefore, they will be a permitted source of contributing evidence toward Teacher Assessed Grades this year. Our approach, however, contains additional safeguards to ensure that students who received a Centre Assessed Grade in 2020 will not be disadvantaged by Teacher Assessed Grades in 2021.

Contacting us

We are likely to receive a large volume on enquiries, so we ask that centres please review all the published guidance which will answer many common questions.

For urgent queries not covered by our guidance please contact:

comms.awarding@arts.ac.uk for general enquiries

events.awarding@arts.ac.uk for queries about registering for one of our training events

operations.awarding@arts.ac.uk for queries regarding Quartz

quality.awarding@arts.ac.uk for policies and appeals

academic.awarding@arts.ac.uk if you are one of our external quality assurance experts