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Coronavirus Guidance: Full Time Students, Parents & Guardians

3 April 2020

Published Tuesday 21 April 2020

Important Update: Technical and Vocational Gradings Update and Government Guidance

Dear Students,

Welcome back after your Easter break and I hope you are ready to re-engage with your online/distance learning following the extension of the lockdown by the Government.

I know many of you will want to know how your vocational or technical qualification is going to be awarded and may have seen news that these will be awarded in a similar way to the A levels and GCSEs.

The Government wants to make sure that no learners are disadvantaged; and as many qualifications due to be completed in this academic year to be awarded through calculated grades. However, the Department of Education, who will make the final decision, recognise that with such a wide range of vocational and technical qualifications different approaches for different qualifications may be needed such as:

  • Calculated results 
  • Adapted assessment methods (e.g coursework instead of exam; remote exams; online assessments)
  • Rescheduled assessments to a later date

The guidance from Ofqual states:

“We are working with awarding organisations to identify qualifications in this group where it might still be possible to generate a calculated result. Where this is not possible, or not appropriate, we will encourage adaptations to be made to assessments or to delivery models (for example changing invigilation requirements or moving to remote moderation) as long as this does not undermine the reliability of the result and where assessments can still take place in line with social distancing guidelines, even though centre-based provision has been suspended. In some cases where qualifications directly signal occupational competence or function as a licence to practise, it may not be safe or meet employers’ requirements to do either of these, and there may be no option but to wait until normal assessments can happen again.

We will set out after Easter further details of the approach, and outline those areas where we will need to consult."  

The specifics of how each qualification will be assessed has not been confirmed – at this stage Exam Boards submitting their plans to the Department of Education for consideration. As soon as the College has absolute confirmation about each specific qualification we will be in contact with each cohort of learners.

We appreciate that this is very unsettling but until the specifics are confirmed we do not want to provide incorrect information so we will be in contact as soon as we have definite answers. 

It is, therefore, important in the meantime that you should continue to engage with and complete the activities and assessments set by the course teams. 

Yours faithfully, 

Dr Karen Morris

Vice Principal Curriculum and Quality

Gloucestershire College







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