These FAQs about TAGs have been put forward by our students.  We hope our answers provide the information required by our students, but also their parents and carers too.  If our answers do not provide the information required, and so generate new questions, please email these new questions to reception@huddnewcoll.ac.uk and we will try to answer them in future editions of the Principal’s Bulletin.

If you have specific questions about TAGs which are related to your personal circumstances, please speak to your subject teacher, or your progress tutor, in the first instance.

Should you wish to appeal your Grade please click on the link here and complete the enclosed form.

JCQ has produced full guidance for students and parents / carers which can be accessed here

We would also recommend that you take a look at  Ofqual’s guide to Teacher Assessed Grades. You can do so here  

These FAQs about TAGs have been put forward by our students.  We hope our answers provide the information required by our students, but also their parents and carers too.  If our answers do not provide the information required, and so generate new questions, please email these new questions to reception@huddnewcoll.ac.uk and we will try to answer them in future editions of the Principal’s Bulletin. If you have specific questions about TAGs which are related to your personal circumstances, please speak to your subject teacher, or your progress tutor, in the first instance. We would also recommend that you take a look at  Ofqual’s guide to Teacher Assessed Grades. You can do so here.   

Studying a BTEC? Pearson has issued a special letter for you explaining more about the awarding of BTECs and how they have been working with universities regarding this to help ensure you can progress. You can read this here. 

A TAG will be the final grade that you are awarded in each subject in Summer 2021.  It will be awarded by your subject teacher, who knows you best.  It will reflect their professional judgement of the standard at which you are working, assessed from the evidence produced from what they have taught you on the course. This means that the TAG will reflect what you know, understand and can do with this taught content.  

Your subject teachers will bear in mind that you might not have been taught all the content of the course, and so you might not be able to demonstrate the same level of knowledge, skills and understanding at this point in your studies that students who were taught all the course content would have been able to demonstrate in previous years.  This means it will be no easier or no harder for you to achieve a particular grade this year compared to previous years.

Your subject teachers will also take great care to award your TAG from an evidence base drawn purely from the taught content of the course, to avoid any form of bias from influencing the grade that they award. To also limit any form of bias from influencing the grade that they award, all subject teachers have received training in unconscious bias. And finally, this evidence base will be shared with you to reassure you that your TAGs are being drawn from evidence that is objective and fair.  
 

Students studying BTEC qualifications will be awarded a Qualification-Level Teacher Assessed Grade (a Q-TAG).  The definition of a Q-TAG and process for awarding them will be exactly the same as for a TAG.

 

 

If you are working towards a qualification which was planned to finish and to certificate in Summer 2021, you will receive a TAG or Q-TAG. Students in the first year of a two-year Linear A Level or BTEC qualification will not receive a TAG / Q-TAG at the end of the first year.  

TAGs or Q-TAGs will be calculated in the following qualifications:
•    A Level
•    BTEC (Level 2 & Level 3)
•    CACHE (Level 3)
•    Criminology (Level 3)
•    The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)
•    GCSE English Language
•    GCSE Maths

If you are not sure whether or not you will receive a TAG or a Q-TAG this summer, please speak to your subject teacher.

 

The table below provides the timeline of the key activities that will be taking place before the TAG or Q-TAG grade submission to the awarding bodies on June 18th 2021.  It also contains the dates for the publication of results and the appeals process thereafter.

Date

Activity

23 – 26 April

  • Introduction of the College’s TAG/Q-TAG process to students (video presentation during tutorial)

26 April – 7 May

  • Subject teachers share the TAG/Q-TAG evidence base for their course with their students
  • Special consideration internal application window

4 – 7 May

  • Progress Point 4 grade input

4 – 21 May

  • Progress Point 5 assessment window

28 May

  • End of teaching for all students on courses which certificate in Summer 2021

10 August

  • Publication of A Level, Level 3 BTEC & CACHE results

12 August

  • Publication of GCSE & Level 2 BTEC results

10 – 16 August

  • Priority appeals process – student request of centre review

16 – 20 August

  • Centre review of priority appeals

23 August

  • Centre submits priority appeal(s) to awarding body organisation

10 August – 3 September

  • Non-priority appeals process – student request of centre review

6 – 10 September

  • Centre review of non-priority appeals

13 – 17 September

  • Centre submits non-priority appeal(s) to awarding body organisation

Your subject teachers will explain to you the evidence that they will be using to award your TAG or Q-TAG; this will happen before May 7th.  In general terms, the evidence used will depend upon the qualifications that you are studying.  See below for further details.

A Level & GCSE Qualifications
Subject teachers will award your TAG using the different baskets of evidence shown below.  Each basket will carry an equal weighting.  This will ensure that your performance towards the end of the course (when you should know, understand and can do more) will carry more weight than your performance at the start of the course, and the start of this academic year.
•    Basket 1: Progress Points 1 – 3 Progress Grades and underpinning assessments.  
•    Basket 2: Progress Point 4 Progress Grade and underpinning assessment(s).  
•    Basket 3: Progress Point 5 Progress Grade and underpinning assessment(s).
•    Basket 4 (if applicable): Complete / partially complete coursework.
Please note that for Art & Design A Levels and for the EPQ your TAG will be calculated solely on the basis of the complete / partially complete portfolio of evidence.

BTEC (Level 2 and Level 3) & CACHE (Level 3)
Teachers will award your Q-TAG based on evidence from Priority Basket 1 shown below.  If there is insufficient evidence available from Priority Basket 1, they will supplement this evidence with evidence from Supplementary Basket 2.
•    Priority Basket 1: ‘Banked’ marks and / or grades for completed assessments in Units / Components to date (including both internal and external assessments).
•    Supplementary Basket 2: Alternative evidence that reflects your standard of performance.  This can include - partially completed internal assessments, classwork or homework assignments, informal assessments, project work, recordings (for example. of practical performance), evidence from work experience, witness testimonies or teacher observation records.

 

In January, the government cancelled all A Level and GCSE examinations in Summer 2021.  They also cancelled all external BTEC examinations.  In February, the DfE consulted on the evidence that should be used instead to award final grades: TAGs and Q-TAGs in Summer 2021.

We consulted extensively with our students, their parents / carers, our teachers, and our governors before responding to the DfE consultation.  The unanimous feedback was that there should not be any form of high stakes assessment such as formal examination in the awarding of TAGs or Q-TAGs.  We have listened to this feedback and we have also taken note of the most recent guidance from the Department for Education, from Ofqual, and from the awarding bodies which makes clear that students should not be subjected to high stakes assessments, such as formal examinations, in the determination of their TAGs or Q-TAGs.

 

All students sitting formal examinations to December 2020 received the full access arrangements to which they were entitled.  Since the cancellation of exams in January 2021 there is no further JCQ requirement for the College to provide exam access arrangements for students.  

Although access arrangements only apply to formal examinations, the College has taken additional steps to ensure that your TAG or Q-TAG is fair. When assessments have been completed under timed conditions, you will have been provided with extra time and/or any other examination access arrangements to which you are entitled.  In the very small number of cases where you may have sat an assessment without the access arrangements to which you are entitled being in place, your subject teacher will either discount that evidence from your baskets of evidence, and replace it with an appropriate alternative, or they will explain to you how they will compensate for the fact that the access arrangements to which you are entitled were not in place at the time of the assessment.  

The minimum threshold which needs to be in place for an in-class assessment to be accepted into your baskets of evidence is that you had your usual classroom support (as recorded on Cedar) available to you throughout the assessment.

 

As a College, we recognise religion and belief as a protected equality characteristic.  However, due to the limited time remaining in this academic year, you may be required to complete some final assessments for Progress Points 4 and/or 5.  These will inevitably take place during Ramadan.  This is in line with many schools and colleges across England.  It is important that if you are observing Ramadan, you consider the impact it may have on your preparation for, and completion of, any assessments.  If you are fasting during this assessment period, you are advised to consider how best to look after yourself.  The following points may be useful for this:

•    Eat a healthy, balanced evening meal with plenty of water when breaking the fast, to obtain the required nutrients, and to stay hydrated.
•    Eat foods rich in complex carbohydrates and protein, fruit and vegetables, during the morning meal.
•    Stay indoors, or in the shade, limiting physical activity and resting, if possible.

 

 

Yes.  Your subject teachers will explain to you the specific assessments that they will be using in order to award your TAG or Q-TAG.  You will be able to view these marks either on Cedar Markbook or via your BTEC Tracker.  The assessments that you may be asked to complete for Progress Points 4 and/or 5 will also be recorded here, and you will have access to these marks too.

The answer to this question depends upon the subjects that you are studying.

If you are studying an Art & Design subject or the Extended Project Qualification your subject teachers will not be able to tell you the grade they have awarded to your portfolio of evidence because if they told you this they would effectively be telling you your final grade (the TAG).  
If you are studying an A level in which the NEA is in one of your baskets of evidence (for example, History or English Literature), your subject teacher will tell you the mark that they have awarded to your NEA.  You will be able to see your NEA marks on Cedar from 28th May.  This mark will be used by your subject teacher to inform their calculation of your TAG.  

For further information relating to NEA, including how to appeal your mark, refer to the Examinations section of Moodle.

 

You will not be given an opportunity to improve on assessments that you have already completed and submitted, as this would not be fair to other students.  You will only be permitted to submit alternative evidence for assessments which have already taken place, if your teacher asks you to do so.  For example, a student whose application for special consideration is approved may be invited to submit additional work for assessment, as part of their special consideration.  Students completing coursework-based qualifications such as BTEC and CACHE will continue to follow the normal exam board rules with regards to resubmission of work.

No.  Your teachers will be collecting in the assessed work that they will be using to award your TAG or Q-TAG.  This is because we may be required as a College to produce this assessed for the exam boards, as part of their quality assurance and standardisation processes.

Yes.  It is likely that some students won’t be able to attend for the final assessment for Progress Point 4 and/or 5 for legitimate reasons.  In these minority of cases, subject teachers will ensure that the student is given the opportunity to undertake the missed assessment, as soon as they are able to do so.
To ensure all students are given access to these final assessments, if you are not able to attend (for example, because you are self-isolating), but can access the assessment remotely, you will be able to complete the assessment remotely, under the supervision of your subject teacher.  
As usual, we will require evidence from parents/carers to support any periods of absence from College, from now to the end of the academic year.

 

Special consideration is a post-examination / assessment adjustment to your mark or grade to reflect temporary illness, temporary injury or some other event outside your control at the time of the assessment.  It is applied when the issue or event has had, or is reasonably likely to have had, a material effect on your ability to take an assessment or demonstrate your normal level of attainment in an assessment or production of coursework.  If you think that your performance in an assessment, which is being used to award your TAG or Q-TAG, has been or might be affected by a serious event beyond your control you may wish to apply for special consideration.  Note that teachers have already accounted for the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on your learning, so this by itself does not constitute grounds for special consideration.  Further information is contained in the Special Consideration Application Form which is available on Moodle or from the Examinations Office. .

 

If your application for special consideration is approved, any assessments that you completed during the period to which the special consideration applies will be discounted from your Baskets of evidence.  If your teachers require additional assessed work to help them award your TAG as a consequence of discounting evidence they will discuss this with you. 

Remember that any application for special consideration must contain supporting evidence.

 

 

 No.  In line with the DfE/Ofqual guidelines, final grades will be issued to you on results day in August.

Your TAG or Q-TAG will not necessarily be the same as your Progress Point 5 grade. Your TAG or Q-TAG will be based on all the evidence in your baskets of evidence, and these include Progress Point 5. It will be a holistic TAG or Q-TAG.

 

Your subject teacher’s marking will go through a rigorous quality assurance process.  The marks given to assessments used to award your TAG or Q-TAG will firstly be internally moderated by Course Leaders and by Heads of Department.  Following that, the grades within departments will be checked, and grades awarded sampled through a review of the baskets of evidence by a member of the Senior Leadership Team.  The exam boards will also be conducting an external moderation process.

Your subject teachers have also received training and guidance to try to mitigate against unconscious bias.  They will discount characteristics protected under equalities legislation (such as sex, race/ethnicity, religion/belief, disability status, gender reassignment or sexual orientation) when awarding your TAG or Q-TAG.  They will also discount other factors such as your socio- economic background, including culture or family, perceived English language proficiency (where this is not relevant to the knowledge, skills and understanding being assessed), behaviour (positive or negative), character or personality, appearance, performance of siblings, parental opinions or the knowledge of grades needed to meet a university offer.

 

The following are the main elements which teachers will not consider when they award your TAG or Q-TAG:
•    GCSE prior attainment – this is because performance at GCSE is not a definitive indicator of performance at Level 3.
•    Statistical Grades – the College’s Statistical Grades are very aspirational, as they are based on the performance of the top 25% of students within a national cohort.  As these are aspirational grades based on national data, they are not intended as a prediction of what you are going to achieve, neither do they limit what you can achieve. It is very common for students with the same Statistical Grade to achieve different final grades at the end of their course. This is because they are influenced by attendance and work ethic throughout the course, in addition to the teaching and learning provided, as well as ability.
•    UCAS grades – your UCAS grades were inputted last autumn, and awarded on the basis of your progress across your first year of study; they were a positive estimation of how well you could achieve by the end of the course.  Now that the final year of your course is almost complete, your subject teachers have access to more evidence of what you know, understand and can do than they did when they inputted your UCAS grade.  When your teachers award your TAG or Q-TAG, they won’t be making a professional judgement about what you could achieve, as they did when inputting your UCAS grade.  Instead, they will be assessing what you know, understand and can do from the evidence that you have produced based on what you have been taught on the course.

 

It is very important that the College awards you a TAG or Q-TAG that is an objective and fair reflection of what you know, understand and can do with the content that you have been taught. For this reason, the evidence upon which your TAG or Q-TAG is based must be certified by you as being your own work.  Submitting work for assessment which is not your own is a form of malpractice and could lead to you being withdrawn from the qualification.  The declaration that you sign is also a reminder of the other things that you might need to do to ensure that your TAG or Q-TAG is objective and fair (for example, applying for special consideration).

No, there will be no quota, or any other form of historic limiting factor, applied by your subject teachers when they award your TAG or Q-TAG.  Ofqual and JCQ guidelines state that the College’s results this year should be checked against the results that were achieved in the three previous years, when exams and coursework ran as planned.  During our internal quality assurance checks, we will be asking Course Leaders and Heads of Department to compare this year’s results with those from 2017, 2018 and 2019.  This does not mean that we must award grades to closely match those in previous years, or that the information from previous years will be used to suppress results.  It is simply another way for us to ensure that this year’s grades are objective and fair and will be valued and respected by universities and employers, because it was no easier or no harder for you to achieve a particular grade this year compared to pre-pandemic years.  

 

Yes.  In line with the DfE / Ofqual guidance, if you believe your grade does not fairly reflect the standard of your performance, you should ask the College to check whether we may have made an administrative or procedural error.  If we find we have made such an error and that, as a result, we submitted the wrong grade to the exam board, we will ask them to change the grade.  If we did not make an error, and you still believe your grade is incorrect, you can ask us to submit an appeal to the exam board.  We will provide the exam board with the evidence used to determine your grade, together with our justification for the grade, your concerns and, if the exam board does not already hold it, details of the process that we used to determine your grade.  The exam board will consider whether the evidence of your performance indicates that the grade represents a reasonable exercise of academic judgement.  If they decide that the grade is supported by the evidence, they will not change the grade.  If the exam board does not think that the grade awarded is supported by the evidence and does not represent a reasonable exercise of academic judgment, they may change the grade.  It is important to note that they can change your grade up or down following an appeal.

 

The College will ensure that you have access to the careers team and other senior members of staff to support you during, and after, your final results are published.  Our focus throughout your time with us has been on ensuring that you achieve the qualifications required for your successful transition to your progression aspiration, be that university, an apprenticeship or employment.  This focus on your future will continue until you have a plan for your next steps, whatever your final results may be.

Yes.  The DfE and Ofqual have indicated that there will be an opportunity for you to sit A Level and GCSE exams in the autumn.  Times, dates and further details are yet to be confirmed.

 

Yes.  If you would like to read our full policy please follow this link.

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