These FAQs about TAGs have been put forward by our students.  

  

These FAQs about TAGs have been put forward by our students and their parents/carers.  We hope our answers provide the information required by our students and their parents/carers.  If our answers do not provide the information required, and/or generate new questions which need answering, please email reception@huddnewcoll.ac.uk.  Additional information and/or our answer to any new questions will feature in future editions of the Principal’s Bulletin.

Please note from the outset that TAGs will only be awarded to students if the planned exams and coursework assessment cannot be completed by the summer.  

In the meantime, students should continue to work on the assumption that their final grade will be awarded in the standard way for the courses that they are studying i.e. examination or coursework, as appropriate.  TAGs are a contingency arrangement and will only be used in extreme circumstances.

If students have a specific question about TAGs which are related to their personal circumstances, they should speak to their subject teacher, or to their Progress Tutor, in the first instance.
 

A TAG will be will be the final grade that you are awarded in each subject in Summer 2022, if exams and/or coursework assessments cannot go ahead as planned.  

TAGs will be awarded by your subject teacher, who knows you best.  It will reflect their professional judgement, a judgement that will be based on the evidence you produce during this year of the course, from what they have taught you on the course.  This means that the TAG will reflect what you know, understand and have shown that you can do with this taught content.  

Your subject teachers will bear in mind that because of the disruption to your education caused by global pandemic, you might not have been taught all the underpinning prior knowledge and/or developed all the skills necessary for the course, and so you might not be able to demonstrate the same level of knowledge, skills and therefore understanding during this year of your studies that students would have been able to demonstrate in previous years.  

Your subject teachers will therefore take great care to award your TAG from an evidence base drawn purely from the known 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 you, all subject teachers will receive training in unconscious bias. 

And finally, the evidence base for your final grade will be shared with you to reassure you that your TAGs are being drawn from evidence that is objective and fair.  

This means that it will be no easier or no harder for you to achieve a particular grade this year compared to previous years.
 

TAGs will only be awarded to students if the planned exams and coursework assessments cannot be completed by the summer.  In the meantime, students should continue to work on the assumption that their final grade will be awarded in the standard way for the courses that they are studying i.e. examination or coursework, as appropriate.  TAGs are a contingency arrangement and will only be used in extreme circumstances.

 

If you are working towards a qualification which was planned to finish and to certificate in Summer 2022, you will receive a TAG, if the planned exams and coursework assessments/assignments are unable to proceed as normal.  
Please note: students in the first year of a two-year Linear A Level or BTEC qualification will not receive a TAG at the end of the first year.  

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 this summer, if the planned exams and coursework assessments are unable to proceed as normal, please speak to your subject teacher.

 

 

The table below provides the timeline of the key activities that will be taking place before, and the dates of these activities, to enable teachers to award TAGs.  

Date

Activity

10 – 26 November

CPD for teaching staff – How to prevent unconscious bias

15 – 19 November

 

Introduction of the College’s TAG process to students (video presentation during tutorial lessons)

22 – 26 November

Teachers share the TAG evidence base for their course with their students

22 November – 3 December

Distribution and collation of completed Student Declaration Forms

6 – 13 December

Progress Point 2 grade input (Contingency Basket); note that the assessment(s) underpinning your Progress Grade will take place prior to the grade input window

6 December – 6 May

Special consideration internal application window

17 – 21 January 2022

Year 13 & GCSE Mock Exams (Basket One); note that the assessment(s) underpinning your Progress Grade will take place prior to the grade input window

14 – 21 March 2022

Progress Point 3b grade input (Basket Two); note that the assessment(s) underpinning your Progress Grade will take place prior to the grade input window

9 – 16 May 2022

Progress Point 4 grade input (Basket Three); note that the assessment(s) underpinning your Progress Grade will take place prior to the grade input window

Your subject teachers will explain to you the evidence that they will be using to award your TAG.  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 baskets of evidence shown below.  Each basket will carry an equal weighting.
•    Basket 1: Mock exam.
•    Basket 2: Progress Point 3b Progress Grade and underpinning assessment(s).
•    Basket 3: Progress Point 4 Progress Grade and underpinning assessment(s). 

•    Basket 4: Complete / partially complete NEA.  Basket 4 only applies to courses which have a NEA component.  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 in Basket 4.

•    Contingency Basket: Progress Point 2 Progress Grade and underpinning assessment(s).  Evidence from the Contingency Basket will only be used if there is insufficient evidence available to award a TAG based on Baskets 1 – 4.

BTEC (Level 2 and Level 3) & CACHE (Level 3)
Teachers will award your TAG based on evidence from Priority Basket 1.  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 produced during the course (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 performances), evidence from work experience, witness testimonies or teacher observation records.

 

Although access arrangements only apply to formal Exam Board examinations, the College has taken additional steps to ensure that your TAG is fair.  You will be provided with extra time and/or any other examination access arrangements to which you are entitled for any internal assessment that will form part of the evidence base for your TAG.  

In the very small number of cases where you may have to sit an internal assessment without the access arrangements to which you are entitled being in place, your subject teacher 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 internal assessment.  

The minimum threshold which needs to be in place for an internal 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.

 

Yes. Your subject teachers will explain to you the specific assessments that they will be using in order to award your TAG.  You will be able to view these marks either on Cedar Markbook or via your BTEC Tracker.

 

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 grade, they would effectively be telling you your 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.  This mark will be used, alongside other assessments, 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 able to resubmit any assessments completed that were pre- identified as evidence for your baskets of evidence, as this would not be fair to other students.  So, it is really important that you prepare well for these assessments and ‘get them right first time’.

You will only be permitted to submit alternative evidence for assessment, 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, at a later date than the assessment, as part of their special consideration.  

Students completing mostly 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.  This is because we may be required as a College to produce this assessed work 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 a TAG assessment 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 assessments, if you are not able to attend for an assessment (for example, because you are self-isolating), but you 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 which results in a missed assessment.
 

Special consideration is a post-examination / assessment adjustment to your mark or grade to reflect temporary illness, temporary injury or some other event outside of 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, has been affected by a serious event beyond your control, you may wish to apply for special consideration.  Note that teachers will take account of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on your learning in the assessments that they set, so this by itself does not constitute grounds for special consideration.  

The deadline for applying for special consideration for an assessment that has already taken place is 6th May 2022.  Further information is contained in the Special Consideration Application Form which is available from the Examinations Office.

The College will apply the JCQ’s guidance criteria to any applications for special consideration.  The following lists provide examples of what the JCQ classify as eligible and ineligible personal circumstances for special consideration.  It is worth noting that the JCQ’s threshold for special consideration is very high. 

Examples of personal circumstances that may qualify for special consideration:
•    Temporary illness or accident that has affected the candidate’s time in College.  (Medical evidence is required from a specialist or hospital admission).
•    Death of a member of the immediate family (within two months of the assessment).
•    Very serious and disruptive crisis / incident (within one month of the assessment).
•    Major surgery (within one month of the assessment).
•    Severe disease.
•    Life-threatening illness of candidate or member of immediate family (within two months of the assessment).

Examples of personal circumstances that do not qualify for special consideration:
•    Long term illness.
•    Bereavement occurring more than two months prior to the assessment.
•    Domestic inconvenience, such as moving house, lack of facilities, or taking holidays.
•    Consequences of disobeying the centre’s internal regulations.
•    Quality of teaching, staff shortages, building work or lack of facilities.
•    Submitting no work for assessment, coursework or non-examination assessment at all.
•    A disability or learning difficulties (diagnosed or undiagnosed) unless illness affects the candidate around the time of the assessment or deadline or where the disability exacerbates what would otherwise be a minor issue.


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

 

No. In line with the DfE/Ofqual guidelines, TAGs will remain confidential and will only be issued to you on Results Day in August, if the planned exams and coursework assessments/ assignments are unable to proceed as normal. 

Your subject teacher’s marking will go through a rigorous quality assurance process.  The marks given to assessments used to award your TAG will firstly be internally moderated by Course Leaders and then by Heads of Faculty.  Following that, the grades awarded within faculties will be checked through a review of a sample of the baskets of evidence by a member of the Senior Leadership Team.

Your subject teachers will also have 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.  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:
•    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 are awarded on the basis of your progress across your first year of study; they are a positive estimation of how well you could achieve by the end of the course.  As you progress through the final year of your course 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 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 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 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.  

In addition, in signing the declaration form, you are acknowledging that the sharing of any material relating to a TAG assessment with other people, or knowingly withholding that TAG assessment materials have been shared between people, are also forms of exam malpractice which could lead to you being withdrawn from the qualification.  

The declaration that you sign is a reminder of the other things that you might need to do to ensure that your 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.  Ofqual and JCQ guidelines state that the College’s results this year should be checked against the results that were achieved in 2019 and 2021.  During our internal quality assurance checks, we will be asking Course Leaders and Heads of Faculty to compare this year’s results with those from 2019 and 2021.  This does not mean that the information from these previous years will be used to suppress results.  It is a check to ensure that this year’s grades are objective and fair when compared to grades awarded in the past, and so 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 other years.

The exams regulator, Ofqual, have released an open letter and video to students and their parents/carers containing further information about TAGs.  These resources can be accessed here

 

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