These resources have been prepared by Association of Colleges to support you and your college during these unprecedented times.
We are working continuously to share the latest news and updates and produce templates, tools, guidance and examples of best practice. These can all be found here, in one place, so colleges can concentrate on what they do best... protecting and supporting their staff, students and communities.
Our resource hub is updated regularly to reflect new guidance alongside our Coronavirus Update: AoC Alert mailouts. Please use the left hand menu to find each relevant subsection or, to access specific resources for college staff, follow the links below:
- HR and Employment
- Finance and Operations
- Leadership and Governance
- Communications and Public Affairs
- Teaching and learning
- Qualifications and assessment
- Higher Education
- Staff Mental Health
For additional queries please contact AoC via firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a confirmed case within your college, contact your local health protection team here. They will assist in next steps, including helping to organise a deep clean of the college (for confirmed cases only).
A Level and GCSE grading and assessment this summer
The government has published its decisions about the exceptional arrangements for awarding A Level and GCSE grades this summer. It is available here.
It covers: centre assessment grades, results, statistical standardisation, appeals and the impact on students.
The full analysis of responses to the consultation is available here.
Ofqual consultation response assessment summer 2020 – Vocational and technical qualifications
AoC welcomes the Ofqual consultation response on vocational and technical qualification assessment processes and procedures for summer 2020. The clarity on which qualifications are in scope and the approaches to be taken for each will be welcomed by colleges, as will the confirmation that qualifications such as independent living skills are in scope. As a result of the consultation adjustments have been made:
- scope – clarity on entry level qualifications;
- equalities - approaches strengthened with an emphasis on objectivity
- malpractice – to ensure fairness for all candidates
- appeals – additional guidance for awarding organisations with the opportunity to align with approaches to GCSE and A Level appeals
Alongside the consultation response, Ofqual is providing an interactive tool which colleges can use to see which approach will be taken for each qualification they offer – calculate, adapt, delay.
In the short term, colleges may have questions about meeting awarding organisation deadlines. We recommend contacting awarding organisations as soon as possible if you have concerns about specific qualifications. You can also contact AoC at email@example.com. In the longer term there may be questions about the autumn assessment series. AoC will continue to work with Ofqual, awarding organisations and their representative body, FAB to ensure that any autumn assessment is manageable for colleges where we anticipate social distancing measures will still be in place.
Ofqual consultation on the Autumn exam series
The government has committed to offering an additional exam series this autumn, to provide an opportunity for students unable to receive a calculated grade, and others who would like the opportunity to improve their grade, to take an exam. The proposed arrangements are out for consultation today here: our proposals on the arrangements for this additional exam series. The consultation includes proposals to require exam boards to offer exams in all subjects, and to offer the full suite of papers as are normally offered in other summer exam series. It envisages that AS and A level exams should take place in October and GCSE exams in November, with the exact timing to be confirmed after taking advice from government, exam boards and other stakeholders. It is proposed that, with the exception of art and design, grades awarded in the autumn should be based only on students’ performance in their exams, with no non-exam assessments (NEA).
The full news story from Ofqual can be accessed here.
The consultation is open until Monday 8 June 2020 and AoC will be preparing a draft response for discussion across the FE sector.
Call for Ofsted inspections to be halted until at least January 2021
We have called on Ofsted to extend their freeze on inspections until at least January 2021, unless there are specific safeguarding issues or a college has requested one. This would allow colleges to use the Autumn term to concentrate fully on supporting students to catch up where necessary, without the added pressure and distraction of inspection. Read more here.
Awarding organisations and AoC agree joint principles to move forward
We have agreed with the Federation of Awarding Bodies (FAB), a joint set of principles to shape the collective response to coronavirus. At the heart of this is the shared determination to do the best by students whilst supporting organisations going through difficult times. The letter covers a recommendation to share savings where they arise and to extend payment dates, if necessary. Read the letter in full here.
AoC responds to OfQual announcement on summer GCSEs and A Levels
The covid-19 pandemic has driven OfQual and DfE to implement an extraordinary turnaround in the assessment system for general qualifications in England. The traditional high dependence on written exams will be transformed this summer to a system driven by teacher assessment and moderated by statistical modelling. Read our full response here.