Teacher Assessed Grades Policy

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This policy was approved by governors: May 2021

The policy is to be reviewed by: May 2022

Key Staff

Head of Centre Mr Christopher Beard 
Senior Vice Principal Mrs Melanie McMorrow 
Assistant Vice Principal / Director of Learning ZoneMrs Lisa Antrobus 
Examinations Manager Mrs Angela Elsworth 
Data Analyst Miss Sophie Hollingworth
Teaching Staff All Teaching Staff 
Acting SENCO Mrs Laura Marchant 
Network ManagerMr Gary Marshall 

Context

Co-op Academy Manchester is a large secondary academy based in Higher Blackley, Manchester on the site of the former Plant Hill Arts College. The academy has developed and improved significantly under the Co-op Academies Trust.

Summer 2019 saw a record breaking set of results (on a continued journey of improvement). This would have continued to improve and would have been externally validated had it not been for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key Dates

WeeklySubject leads to meet with Academy Leadership Team (ALT) links
Every TuesdayWeekly Head of Subject meetings
End March 2021Exam board guidance to be issued
30th April 2021Trust process Quality Assurance (QA) meeting with Head of Centre
Tuesday 4th MayDepartment Meetings – Teacher Assessed Grades
20th May 2021Teacher assessed grades due internally
25th May 2021Department QA deadline
27th & 28th May 2021Academy QA meetings (Directors of Learning Zone & Head of Centre)
31st May 2021Teacher assessed grades submitted to Trust
10th June 2021Trust QA meeting with Head of Centre
18th  June 2021Teacher assessed grades submitted to Exam boards
12th August 2021GCSE Results day
12th August 2021Appeals window opens

Key Documents

Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) Access Arrangements and Special Consideration Regulations and Guidance 
JCQ Malpractice Documents 
Academy Malpractice in Examinations and Assessment Policy
JCQ General Regulations for approved centres 2021
JCQ Guidance on Appeals Process 2021 TBC
Academy Exams Contingency Plan 2021 
Trust Data Protection Policy 

Statement of Intent

This section provides details of the purpose of this document, as appropriate to Co-op Academy Manchester:

The purpose of this policy is:

  • To ensure that teacher assessed grades are determined fairly, consistently, free from bias and effectively within and across departments.
  • To ensure the operation of effective processes with clear guidelines and support for staff.
  • To ensure that all staff involved in the processes clearly understand their roles and responsibilities.
  • To support teachers to take evidence-based decisions in line with Joint Council for Qualifications guidance.
  • To ensure compliance with Trust wide guidelines for the assessment of grades
  • To meet Trust deadlines and share data as requested
  • To ensure the consideration of historical centre data in the process, and the appropriate decision making in respect of, teacher assessed grades.
  • To support a high standard of internal quality assurance in the allocation of teacher assessed grades.
  • To support our centre in meeting its obligations in relation to equality legislation.
  • To ensure our centre meets all requirements set out by the Department of Education, Ofqual, the Joint Council for Qualifications and awarding organisations for Summer 2021 qualifications.   
  • To ensure the process for communicating to candidates and their parents/carers how they will be assessed is clear, in order to give confidence.

Roles and Responsibilities

This section gives details of the roles and responsibilities within our centre:

Head of Centre

  • Our Head of Centre, Christopher Beard, will be responsible for approving our policy for determining teacher assessed grades.
  • Our Head of Centre has overall responsibility for Co-op Academy Manchester as an examinations centre and will ensure that clear roles and responsibilities of all staff are defined.
  • Our Head of Centre will confirm that teacher assessed grade decisions represent the academic judgement made by teachers and that the checks in place ensure these align with the guidance on standards provided by awarding organisations. 
  • Our Head of Centre will ensure a robust internal quality assurance process has been produced and signed-off in advance of results being submitted.

Senior Leadership Team and Heads of Department

Our Senior Leadership Team and Heads of Departments will:

  • provide training and support to our other staff. This is carried out weekly within Line Manager and DLZ meetings.
  • support the Head of Centre in the quality assurance of the final teacher assessed grades. By following Co-op Academy Manchester’s Teacher Assessed Grades process.
  • ensure an effective approach within and across departments and authenticating the preliminary outcome from single teacher subjects – Media and Sociology.
  • be responsible for ensuring staff have a clear understanding of the internal and external quality assurance processes and their role within it. This has been shared with all staff and heads of department have received additional weekly guidance.
  • ensure that all teachers within their department make consistent judgements about student evidence in deriving a grade. This will be carried out through standardisation processes, shared on each individual subject’s robust assessment log.
  • ensure all staff conduct assessments under the appropriate levels of control with reference to guidance provided by the Joint Council for Qualifications.
  • ensure teachers have the information required to make accurate and fair judgments. Subjects have been given additional department time to allow for moderation and quality assurance between teams.
  • ensure that a Head of Department Checklist is completed for each qualification that they are submitting.

Teachers/ Specialist Teachers / SENCo

Our teachers, specialist teachers and SENCo will:

  • ensure they conduct assessments under our centre’s appropriate levels of control and have sufficient evidence, in line with this Centre Policy and guidance from the Joint Council for Qualifications, to provide teacher assessed grades for each student they have entered for a qualification.
  • ensure that the teacher assessed grade they assign to each student is a fair, valid and reliable reflection of the assessed evidence available for each student. Each student has been given their own ‘contents portfolio’ sharing what evidence has been used and evidence is recorded on a subject ‘evidence tracker’.
  • make judgements based on what each student has been taught and what they have been assessed on, as outlined in the section on grading in the main JCQ guidance.
  • produce an Assessment Record for each subject cohort, that includes the nature of the assessment evidence being used, the level of control for assessments considered, and any other evidence that explains the determination of the final teacher assessed grades. Any necessary variations for individual students will also be recorded. This is done by using Co-op Academy Manchester’s ‘robust assessment log’.    
  • securely store and be able to retrieve sufficient evidence to justify their decisions.

Examinations Manager

Our Examinations Manager will:

  • be responsible for the administration of our final teacher assessed grades and for managing the post-results services.
  • assist with any queries relating To Teacher Assessed Grades data following awarding body sampling process
  • be responsible for the final submission of Teacher Assessed Grades to awarding bodies
  • be responsible for recording appeal requests and informing students of outcomes of appeals
  • be responsible for collecting and retaining permission forms from students to enable an appeal to be submitted to awarding bodies
  • be responsible for the downloading of results on restricted results day 11 August 2021
  • be responsible for producing and disseminating results to students on published results day 12 August 2021

Data Analyst

Our Data Manager will:

  • be responsible for preparing and maintaining the Evidence Tracker for all certificating students June 20/21
  • be responsible for collecting final Teacher Assessed Grades via SIMS marksheets
  • assist in the submission of final Teacher Assessed Grades to awarding bodies
  • assist with any queries relating to Teacher Assessed Grades data following awarding body sampling process
  • ensure that Teacher Assessed Grades data in kept confidential within SIMS by locking marksheets once all data is uploaded and quality assurance has taken place
  • ensure that the log of evidence is kept confidential and secure after all evidence data has been submitted by teaching staff
  • assist with a QA process of results data received from awarding bodies on restricted results day

Trust Central Leadership Team

Our Trust Central Leadership Team will:

  • provide additional external quality assurance and moderation of Teacher Assessed Grades and evidence portfolios

Training, Support and Guidance

Training

This section provides details of the approach our centre will take to training, support and guidance in determining teacher assessed grades this year

  • All teachers involved in determining centre assessed grades will attend centre based training on 20th April 2021.
  • Head of subjects have been given additional ‘Teacher Assessed Grades process’ training in their weekly Tuesday meetings
  • In addition subject leaders and teachers have been given additional department time for standardisation, marking and moderation.
  • Head of subjects meet with their ALT link every week to discuss the progress of Teacher Assessed Grades.
  • Head of subjects attend trust subject meetings, where available
  • Specific training on unconscious bias was delivered on Tuesday 4th May 2020 to all teaching staff.
  • Subject Leaders will have access to summaries of their historical outcomes as part of the moderation process using Sisra and the academy’s inhouse data analysis tool.
  • Teachers will engage fully with all training and support that has been provided by the Joint Council for Qualifications and the awarding organisations.
  • Training will be mandatory and records kept for attendance of staff. All training sessions will be recorded and available for staff to utilise and come back.
  • Training will be provided by the academy senior leadership team to support staff in the accurate and consistent determination of grades.

Support for Newly Qualified Teachers and teachers less familiar with assessment

This section provides details of Co-op Academy Manchester approach to training, support and guidance for newly qualified teachers and teachers less familiar with assessment

  • There are two NQTs who will be involved in submitting Teacher Assessed Grades. Other NQTs will take part in moderation and standardisation.
  • We will provide mentoring from experienced teachers to NQTs and teachers less familiar with assessment. This will be put in place and monitored by Directors of Learning Zones and checked by ALT links.
  • We will put in place additional internal reviews of teacher assessed grades for NQTs and other teachers as appropriate.
  • This support will be provided HODs, subject and professional mentors.

Support for single person departments

This section provides details Co-op Academy Manchester’s approach to training, support and guidance for single person departments

  • There are 2 single person departments (Media and Sociology)
  • These subjects are part of larger departments and will receive additional support from their Director of Learning Zone who will also sign off on the final grades.
  • The Head of Centre and/or VP will ensure that they receive support from another academy and/or from a Director of Subject from the Trust for standardisation and quality assurance checks.

Use of Appropriate Evidence

This section of our Centre Policy indicates how our centre will give due regard to the section in the JCQ guidance entitled: Guidance on grading for teachers.

Use of evidence

This section gives details in relation to our use of evidence.

  • Teachers making judgements will have regard to the Ofqual Head of Centre guidance on recommended evidence, and further guidance provided by awarding organisations.
  • The examination board assessment materials will be used in all subjects to ensure the robustness of grades submitted, assessments will be based on taught units only.
  • The performance against these materials should form the starting point of the final Teacher Assessed Grades awarded. This grade should form the baseline from which other assessment pieces contribute. It should be exceptional to have a final grade awarded that is more than a grade away from what the examination board material would suggest.
  • All candidate evidence used to determine teacher assessed grades, and associated documentation, will be retained, stored securely, and made available for the purposes of external quality assurance and appeals. Evidence will either be paper-based or digital depending on the subject.
  • We will be using student work produced in response to assessment materials provided by our awarding organisation(s), including groups of questions, past papers or similar materials such as practice or sample papers.
  • The examination board assessment materials will be used in all subjects during the April/ May 2021 assessment window to ensure the robustness of grades submitted and assessments will be based on taught units only.
  • Elements of questions will be combined and/or removed where, for example, a multi-part question includes a part which focuses on an element of the specification that hasn’t been taught.
  • Subject Leaders will ensure that their specific examination board guidance is followed.
  • The examination board assessment materials will result in responses based on groups of questions, past papers or similar materials such as practice or sample papers.
  • This grade will form the baseline to which other assessment pieces will contribute.
  • It is unlikely that the Teacher Assessed Grades will be more than a grade away from the assessment evidence.
  • We will use non-exam assessment work (often referred to as coursework), even if this has not been fully completed.
  • We will use student work produced in centre-devised tasks that reflect the specification, that follow the same format as awarding organisation materials, and have been marked in a way that reflects awarding organisation mark schemes.
  • We will use substantial class or homework (including work that took place during remote learning via the Google Classroom).
  • We will use internal tests taken by pupils.
  • We will use mock exams taken over the course of study.
  • We will use records of a student’s capability and performance over the course of study in performance-based subjects such as music, drama and PE.

We provide further detail in the following areas:

Additional Assessment Materials

  • We will use additional assessment materials to give students the opportunity to show what they know, understand or can do in an area of content that has been taught but not yet assessed.
  • We will use additional assessment materials to give students an opportunity to show improvement, for example, to validate or replace an existing piece of evidence.
  • We will use additional assessment materials to support consistency of judgement between teachers or classes by giving everyone the same task to complete.
  • We will combine and/or remove elements of questions where, for example, a multi-part question includes a part which focuses on an element of the specification that hasn’t been taught.

Our centre will ensure the appropriateness of evidence and balance of evidence in arriving at grades in the following ways:

  • Each student will have a ‘contents portfolio’ for each subject they study. This will detail what evidence has been used when arriving at their grade. This will be recorded in an evidence tracker.
  • We will consider the level of control under which an assessment was completed, for example, whether the evidence was produced under high control and under supervision or at home. This is recorded in the subjects ‘robust assessment log’.
  • We will ensure that we are able to authenticate the work as the student’s own, especially where that work was not completed within the school or college.
  • This will be ensured by: by the use of authentication forms, work completed under the appropriate level of control, teaching staff being aware of plagiarism and alert to it. In support of teachers using their professional judgment and knowledge of pupils. 
  • We will consider the limitations of assessing a student’s performance when using assessments that have been completed more than once, or drafted and redrafted, where this is not a skill being assessed.
  • We will consider the specification and assessment objective coverage of the assessment.
  • We will consider the depth and breadth of knowledge, understanding and skills assessed, especially higher order skills within individual assessments.

Determining Teacher Assessed Grades

This section of our Centre Policy outlines the approach Co-op Academy Manchester will take to awarding teacher assessed grades.

Awarding teacher assessed grades based on evidence

We give details here of our centre’s approach to awarding teacher assessed grades.

  • Our teachers will determine grades based on evidence which is commensurate with the standard at which a student is performing, i.e. their demonstrated knowledge, understanding and skills across the content of the course they have been taught.
  • Our teachers will record how the evidence was used to arrive at a fair and objective grade, which is free from bias. This can be seen in the subjects ‘robust assessment logs’.
  • Our teachers will adopt a holistic evidentiary approach when determining grades
  • Our teachers will produce an Assessment Record for each subject cohort and will share this with their Head of Department. Any necessary variations for individual students will also be shared.
  • Our teachers will use various sources of evidence on a departmental level against the criteria including but not limited to;
    • Whole external Past Papers
    • Additional Assessment Materials provided by awarding bodies
    • Complete or incomplete NEA’s
    • Coursework
    • Mock Exams
    • Substantial classwork or homework
    • Internal tests completed by students
    • Records of a student’s capability and performance over the course of study in performance- based subjects such as music, drama, food tech or Sport
    • Records of each student’s progress and performance over the course of study
    • Online learning platforms ( eg Hegartymaths)
    • Book-work that clearly evidences examination criterion
    • Other departmental specific evidence

Internal Quality Assurance

This section of our Centre Policy outlines the approach Co-op Academy Manchester will take to ensure internal standardisation of teacher assessed grades, to ensure consistency, fairness and objectivity of decisions.

Internal quality assurance

This section gives details of our approach to internal standardisation, within and across subject departments.

  • We will ensure that all teachers involved in deriving teacher assessed grades read and understand this Centre Policy document.
  • In subjects where there is more than one teacher and/or class in the department, we will ensure that our centre carries out an internal standardisation process. This will take place following the completion of each piece of new evidence (whole cohort). The internal standardisation process for each subject has been shared on the academy’s ‘robust assessment log’.
  • Additional assessment material will be used as part of the evidence base and all other pieces of complete evidence will be benchmarked against this.
  • The final Teacher Assessed Grade will be checked against the overall grade for additional assessment material completed and any grade that falls outside of 1 grade away will be subject to additional quality assurance.
  • We will ensure that all teachers are provided with training and support to ensure they take a consistent approach to:
    • Arriving at teacher assessed grades
    • Marking of evidence
    • Reaching a holistic grading decision
    • Applying the use of grading support and documentation
    • Record the grade and evidence used on the Evidence Tracker
  • We will conduct internal standardisation across all grades and subjects
  • We will conduct standardisation across the Trust (Directors of subjects and through other academies)
  • We will ensure that the Assessment Record (evidence tracker)  will form the basis of internal standardisation and discussions across teachers to agree the awarding of teacher assessed grades.
  • Where necessary, we will review and reflect on individual grading decisions to ensure alignment with the standards as outlined by our awarding organisation(s).
  • Where appropriate, we will amend individual grade decisions to ensure alignment with the standards as outlined by our awarding organisation(s).
  • Teacher Assessed Grades for each subject will be signed off as accurate by the head of department and one teacher within the department
  • Where there is only one teacher involved in marking assessments and determining grades, then the output of this activity will be reviewed by an appropriate member of staff within the centre. The HOC or Vice Principal will provide this support
  • In respect of equality legislation, we will consider the range of evidence for students of different protected characteristics that are included in our internal standardisation.

Comparison of teacher assessed grades to results for previous cohorts

This section gives details of our internal process to ensure a comparison of teacher assessed grades at qualification level to results for previous cohorts in our centre taking the same qualification.

  • We will compile information on the grades awarded to our students in the past June series in which exams took place (e.g. 2017 – 2019)
  • Academy data dashboards available to support comparison
  • We will consider the size of our cohort from year to year
  • We will consider the stability of our centre’s overall grade outcomes from year to year.
  • We will consider both subject and centre level variation in our outcomes during the internal quality assurance process
  • We will prepare a succinct narrative on the outcomes of the review against historic data which, in the event of significant divergence from the qualifications-levels profiles attained in previous examined years, which address the reasons for this divergence. This commentary will be available for subsequent review during the QA process.
  • This internal process will take place firstly at a subject level, then from a department QA check, a Senior Leadership Level check and then finally through an external Trust QA meeting (the dates of these are included in the key dates section).

This section gives details of the approach our centre will follow if our initial teacher assessed grades for a qualification are viewed as overly lenient or harsh compared to results in previous years.

  • We will compile historical data giving appropriate regard to potential mixtures of A*-G and 9-1 grades in GCSEs.  Where required, we will use the Ofqual guidance to convert legacy grades into the new 9 to 1 scale.
  • We will bring together other data sources that will help to quality assure the grades we intend to award in 2021.

This section gives details of changes in our cohorts that need to be reflected in our comparisons.

  • We will omit subjects that we no longer offer from the historical data.
  • We will take into consideration the rise in the number of students year on year due to the expansion of the academy

Access Arrangements and Special Considerations

This section gives details of our approach to access arrangements and mitigating circumstances (special consideration).

  • Where students have agreed access arrangements or reasonable adjustments (for example a reader or scribe) we will make every effort to ensure that these arrangements are in place when assessments are being taken.
  • Where an assessment has taken place without an agreed reasonable adjustment or access arrangement, we will remove that assessment from the basket of evidence and alternative evidence obtained.
  • Where illness or other personal circumstances might have affected performance in assessments used in determining a student’s standard of performance, we will take account of this when making judgements.
  • We will record, as part of the Assessment Record, how we have incorporated any necessary variations to take account of the impact of illness or personal circumstances on the performance of individual students in assessments.
  • To ensure consistency in the application of Special Consideration, we will ensure all teachers have read and understood the document: https://www.jcq.org.uk/exams-office/access-arrangements-and-special-consideration/regulations-and-guidance/

Addressing Disruption/Differential Lost Learning

This section gives details of our approach to address disruption or differentiated lost teaching.

  • Teacher assessed grades will be determined based on evidence of the content that has been taught and assessed for each student.
  • Teachers are working with exam board materials on adaptions made to their course.

Objectivity

This section gives a summary of the arrangements in place within our centre in relation to objectivity.

Staff will fulfil their duties and responsibilities in relation to relevant equality and disability legislation.

Senior Leaders, Heads of Department and Centre will consider:

  • sources of unfairness and bias (situations/contexts, difficulty, presentation and format, language, conditions for assessment, marker preconceptions); 
  • how to minimise bias in questions and marking and hidden forms of bias); and
  • bias in teacher assessed grades.

To ensure objectivity, all staff involved in determining teacher assessed grades will be made aware that:

  • unconscious bias can skew judgements;
  • the evidence presented should be valued for its own merit as an indication of performance and attainment;
  • teacher assessed grades should not be influenced by candidates’ positive or challenging personal circumstances, character, behaviour, appearance, socio-economic background, or protected characteristics;
  • unconscious bias is more likely to occur when quick opinions are formed; and

Our internal standardisation process will help to ensure that there are different perspectives to the quality assurance process.

Recording decisions and retention of evidence and data

This section outlines our approach to recording decisions and retaining evidence and data.

  • We will ensure that teachers and Heads of Departments maintain records that show how the teacher assessed grades process operated, including the rationale for decisions in relation to individual marks/grades. This is recorded as part of Co-op Academy Manchester’s Teacher Assessed Grades process. Teachers / Heads of Departments have been asked to complete a contents portfolio, robust assessment log and evidence tracker.  
  • We will ensure that evidence is maintained across a variety of tasks to develop a holistic view of each student’s demonstrated knowledge, understanding and skills in the areas of content taught.
  • We will put in place recording requirements for the various stages of the process to ensure the accurate and secure retention of the evidence used to make decisions
  • We will comply with our obligations regarding data protection legislation
  • We will ensure that the grades accurately reflect the evidence submitted
  • We will ensure that marksheets and evidence trackers are locked and securely stored within our IT systems once internal deadlines have passed and all quality assurance processes have taken place
  • The trust will request a copy of the data and keep a record securely centrally.
  • We will ensure that evidence is retained electronically or on paper in a secure centre-based system that can be readily shared with our awarding organisation(s).

Authenticating Evidence

This section of our Centre Policy details the mechanisms in place to ensure that teachers are confident in the authenticity of evidence, and the process for dealing with cases where evidence is not thought to be authentic.

  • Robust mechanisms, which will include a contents portfolio outlining what evidence will be used and why. To support this a robust assessment log has been created to quality assure the robustness of assessments. These will be in place to ensure that teachers are confident that work used as evidence is the students’ own and that no inappropriate levels of support have been given to students to complete it, either within the centre or with external tutors.
  • The centre Malpractice Policy has been updated to include the Teacher Assessed Grades process for this year. All staff have been made aware of the updated policy and procedures for plagiarism and malpractice when determining final Teacher Assessed Grades
  • Pupils have completed several lessons on malpractice sharing what it is and the consequences of plagiarism. Where appropriate, pupils have also completed authentication forms for specific courses.
  • It is understood that awarding organisations will investigate instances where it appears evidence is not authentic. We will follow all guidance provided by awarding organisations  support these determinations of authenticity. https://www.jcq.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Malpractice_20-21_v2-1.pdf

Confidentiality, Malpractice and Conflicts of Interest

Confidentiality

This section of our Centre Policy outlines the measures in place to ensure the confidentiality of the grades our centre determines, and to make students aware of the range of evidence on which those grades will be based.

  • All staff involved have been made aware of the need to maintain the confidentiality of teacher assessed grades. This has additionally been placed and shared in Co-op Academy Manchester’s Malpractice policy.
  • All teaching staff have been briefed on the requirement to share details of the range of evidence on which students’ grades will be based, while ensuring that details of the final grades remain confidential.
  • Relevant details from this Policy, including requirements around sharing details of evidence and the confidentiality requirements, have been shared with parents/guardians.
  • The academy has put in place the following procedures to maintain the security of grades and evidence
    • Tracker sheets to be locked and secured once all Teacher Assessed Grades have been uploaded and quality assured
    • A secure log is to be kept on our secure server of the type of evidence used and its location
    • Final Teacher Assessed Grades to be kept confidential until external results days
    • The academy has updated our Malpractice Policy in relation to all aspects of the determination, recording, storage and security of Teacher Assessed Grades. This has been shared with all staff.

Malpractice

This section details the measures in place in our centre to prevent malpractice and, where that proves impossible, to handle cases in accordance with awarding organisation requirements.

  • Our general centre policies regarding malpractice, maladministration and conflicts of interest have been reviewed to ensure they address the specific challenges of delivery in Summer 2021.
  • All staff involved have been made aware of these policies, and have received training in them as necessary.
  • All staff involved have been made aware of the specific types of malpractice which may affect the Summer 2021 series including:
    • breaches of internal security;
    • deception;
    • improper assistance to students;
    • failure to appropriately authenticate a student’s work;
    • over direction of students in preparation for common assessments;
    • allegations that centres submit grades not supported by evidence that they know to be inaccurate;
    • centres enter students who were not originally intending to certificate a grade in the Summer 2021 series;
    • failure to engage as requested with awarding organisations during the External Quality Assurance and appeal stages; and
    • failure to keep appropriate records of decisions made and teacher assessed grades.
    • Failure to securely store evidence used to submit Teacher Assessed Grades
    • Failure to keep final Teacher Assessed Grades confidential until results day.
  • The consequences of malpractice or maladministration as published in the JCQ guidance: JCQ Suspected Malpractice: Policies and Procedures and including the risk of a delay to students receiving their grades, up to, and including, removal of centre status have been outlined to all relevant staff. 

Conflicts of Interest

This section details our approach to addressing conflicts of interest, and how we will respond to such allegations.

  • To protect the integrity of assessments, all  staff involved in the determination of grades must declare any conflict of interest such as relationships with students to our Head of Centre for further consideration.
  • Our Head of Centre  will take appropriate action to manage any conflicts of interest arising with centre staff in accordance with the JCQ documents –  General Regulations for Approved Centres, 1 September 2020 to 31 August 2021.
  • We will also carefully consider the need to separate duties and personnel to ensure fairness in later process reviews and appeals.

External Quality Assurance

This section outlines the arrangements we have in place to ensure the relevant documentation and assessment evidence can be provided in a timely manner for the purposes of External Quality Assurance sampling, and that staff can be made available to respond to enquiries.

  • All staff involved have been made aware of the awarding organisation requirements for External Quality Assurance as set out in the JCQ Guidance.
  • All necessary records of decision-making in relation to determining grades have been properly kept and can be made available for review as required.
  • All student evidence on which decisions regarding the determination of grades has been retained and can be made available for review as required.
  • Instances where student evidence used to decide teacher assessed grades is not available, for example where the material has previously been returned to students and cannot now be retrieved, will be clearly recorded on the appropriate documentation.
  • All staff involved have been briefed on the possibility of interaction with awarding organisations during the different stages of the External Quality Assurance process and can respond promptly and fully to enquiries, including attendance at Virtual Visits should this prove necessary.
  • Arrangements are in place to respond fully and promptly to any additional requirements/reviews that may be identified as a result of the External Quality Assurance process.
  • Staff have been made aware that a failure to respond fully and effectively to such additional requirements may result in further action by the awarding organisations, including the withholding of results.

Results

This section details our approach to the issue of results to students and the provision of advice and guidance.

  • All staff involved have been made aware of the specific arrangements for the issue of results in Summer 2021, including the issuing of A/AS and GCSE results in the same week.
  • Arrangements will be made to ensure the necessary staffing, including exams office and support staff, to enable the efficient receipt and release of results to our students.
  • Arrangements will be in place for the provision of all necessary advice, guidance and support, including pastoral support, to students on receipt of their results.
  • Such guidance will include advice on the appeals process in place in 2021 (see below).
  • Appropriate staff will be available to respond promptly to any requests for information from awarding organisations, for example regarding missing or incomplete results, to enable such issues to be swiftly resolved.
  • Parents/guardians have been made aware of arrangements for results days.

Appeals

This section details our approach to managing appeals, including Centre Reviews, and subsequent appeals to awarding organisations.

  • All staff involved have been made aware of the arrangements for, and the requirements of, appeals in Summer 2021, as set out in the JCQ Guidance.
  • Internal arrangements will be in place for the swift and effective handling of Centre Reviews in compliance with the requirements.
  • All necessary staff have been briefed on the process for, and timing of, such reviews, and will be available to ensure their prompt and efficient handling.
  • Learners have been appropriately guided as to the necessary stages of appeal.
  • Arrangements will be in place for the timely submission of appeals to awarding organisations, including any priority appeals, for example those on which university places depend.
  • Arrangements will be in place to obtain the written consent of students to the initiation of appeals, and to record their awareness that grades may go down as well as up on appeal.

Appropriate information on the appeals process will be provided to parents/carers.

Contingency Planning

This section details our approach to contingency planning

  • Deadlines are in place for all internal and external submission of data. Senior staff, HODs and Teaching staff will ensure all data is reported and quality assured within these deadlines. Any delay to data submission will be investigated by Senior staff.
  • In the event of a cyber-attack or other breach of security regarding data we will invoke our Business Continuity Plan and the Malpractice Policy. We will also contact the NCSC, local law enforcement and Action Fraud. We will also inform the Department for Education (sector.securityenquiries@education.gov.uk)
  • Data will be stored securely on a Cloud and Physical drive. Final Teacher Assessed Grades will also be retained on a separate physical drive separate to the network.
  • In the absence of key staff on upload of Teacher Assessed Grades days or results days we will refer to our Examinations Contingency Policy 20/21 https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JIwTfM4HMPNNYLDvuFWwdjoVMwmkey7I/view?usp=sharing
  • Security of data and evidence held online will be covered by Trust Data Protection Policy and local IT security arrangements (Firewall, IT monitoring etc).

Appendix 1 – Change in context

Co-op Academy Manchester has demonstrated improving results over time. Detailed support has been put in place to support subjects to continue working towards improving outcomes each year. This has included detailed internal recovery plans and external support from within the Trust and external networks. The number of experienced subject specialists has increased in addition to external roles such as external examiners. We have a number of Specialist Leaders of Education.

Subjects of note include:

English – Focus on English Language which leads to significant improvement across both GCSE’s.

Maths – Significant changes in the leadership of Maths has taken place in the last 3 years which has impacted on a significant improvement in results. Further appointments of experienced specialist teaching staff and changes in exam board have supported a continued improvement.

Science – Significant changes in the leadership of Science has taken place in the last 2 years which has impacted on a significant improvement in results. This was noticeable in 2019 and was estimated to continue improving over the past 2 years. Changes within the curriculum and increase in subject specialists have contributed to this.

Geography, History, Drama, Media and Music – Recently worked through subject recovery plans with high level support from SLT.

Sports Science – Change from GCSE PE to BTEC Sports Science with significant improvement with results. External units have shown record breaking results.

Computer Science and Business – Significant change in subject leadership and new subject specialists appointed which has led to an improving picture in results. Change in curriculum planning in these areas leading to better delivery and outcomes.

Health and Social Care and Child Development – Improving picture historically due to appointment and development of subject specialists with external exam experience.