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Important information for SENCos and assessors

Friday 19 February 2021

With ongoing uncertainty surrounding assessment arrangements in 2021, The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) has released the following guidance for SENCos, assessors and equivalent members of staff within FE colleges.

Ofqual, the qualifications regulator for England, and the Department for Education are currently consulting on how GCSE, AS and A-level qualifications should be awarded this summer.

As the final assessment arrangements are yet to be determined, applications for access arrangements (where required) and orders for modified papers for these qualifications should continue to be processed using Access Arrangements Online (AAO).

Modified papers

If the awarding bodies are required to produce assessment material and are directed by the qualifications regulator to produce these materials in a modified format, then orders against the previous timetabled examinations will be immensely beneficial. It will provide awarding bodies with a basis on which to produce modified versions of assessment materials.

Access arrangements

The deadline for processing online applications has been extended this year from 21 February to 31 March 2021. An online application may be processed after 31 March given the current exceptional and challenging circumstances.

An approved online application would assist the candidate with his/her progression. An approved online application, substantiated by the required evidence, would enable the candidate to say that an approved online application was in place and that had GCSE examinations taken place this summer then he/she would have been awarded the arrangement(s). The same principle would equally apply to an A-level candidate progressing to Higher Education this Autumn.

For an 11 to 18 school where it is highly likely that the candidate will progress to the Sixth Form for A- level studies in September, the SENCo may wish to process an online application for both GCE and GCSE examinations.

You can read the statement from The Joint Council for Qualifications on their website here