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COVID-19 Advice

Assessment Grades Summer 2020

A-Level and GCSE

Internal Quality Assurance

Several layers of checking and quality assurance have been put in place to make sure that our teacher assessment was fair, valid and rigorous. At College level this includes:

  1. Centrally calculating grades in the first instance using data held in our pro-monitor system, including non-exam assessment; the results of any homework assignments or mock exams; and records of performance over the course of study. Where we have previous relevant examined assessments, for example AS-level or GCSE results, these have been used to check the validity of our calculated grades.
  2. These centrally calculated grades have then been reviewed by your teacher(s) to check their validity.
  3. Where a teacher felt a calculated grade did not accurately reflect a student’s performance, they were able to submit additional evidence to a panel that included members of the Senior Leadership team.
  4. Teachers then worked with their manager to rank students within a grade.
  5. Grades and rankings were then signed-off by: the team manager and one staff member; the Head of Academy; and then the Principal. These are also validated against historical results within our College.
  6. Results are then checked by our Examinations Department and submitted to the Exam Board.
  7. As Head of Centre, the Principal, also checks a sample of grades submitted to each exam board to make sure these have been accurately entered on their systems. 
  8. A declaration is then signed to state that a fair and accurate process has been followed. 

External Quality Assurance

To make sure that grades are fair between schools and colleges, exam boards then put all centre assessment grades through a process of standardisation using a model developed with Ofqual.

The standardisation model draws on the following sources of evidence: historical outcomes for each centre; the prior attainment (Key Stage 2 or GCSE) of this year’s students and those in previous years within each centre; and the expected national grade distribution for the subject given the prior attainment of the national entry.

More information can be found here

Autumn Examinations

The government has announced a series of exams in the Autumn term. This is an opportunity for students to sit exams who were unable to receive a calculated grade or may be seeking to improve their grade. If you would like further information regarding this, please contact

Vocational and Technical

Your final grade will have been calculated dependent on the qualification you are sitting. You can find detailed information of how this works on the Ofqual website, by searching for your qualification and awarding organisation.

Many of these qualifications have significant proportions of teacher-assessment already, we have therefore used our normal internal quality assurance procedures to ensure fairness and rigor of any changes to assessments.

Please note that for some qualifications we were not allowed to consider evidence submitted after 20 March 2020 and we were instructed to use work that had been submitted prior to this date.

Internal Quality Assurance

Several layers of checking and quality assurance have been put in place to make sure that our teacher assessment is fair, valid and rigorous. At College level this includes:

  1. Internal quality assurance by a verifier in the teaching team to ensure assessments are valid and marks/grades awarded fair.
  2. A check by our central Quality Assurance Team to confirm these judgements.
  3. Results are then checked by our Examinations Department and submitted to the Awarding organisation.
  4. As Head of Centre, the Principal, also signs a declaration to state that a fair and accurate process has been followed. 

External Quality Assurance

To make sure that grades are fair between schools and colleges, exam boards then put all centre assessment grades through a process of standardisation. This usually involves an External Quality Review of a sample of work from our centre to ensure it meets expected national standards.

Appeals

A copy of our Student Appeals Policy is available on our website.

Please note, that in Summer 2020 Ofqual has stated that it is not in the best interests of students to challenge centre-assessed grades. The only grounds for appeal are:

  1. An administrative error by either the Exam board or the College, these are expected to be quickly found and corrected. They can be dealt with informally.

  2. Where a student or others have concerns about bias, discrimination or any other factor and believe that a centre has not behaved with care or integrity when grading, a student can appeal to their centre. This needs to be done using Form B in the Student Appeals Policy within 5 working days of receiving the examination grade.

Functional Skills

Internal Quality Assurance

Several layers of checking and quality assurance have been put in place to make sure that our teacher assessment was fair, valid and rigorous. At College level this includes:

  1. Centrally calculating your grade in the first instance using data held in our pro-monitor system, including non-exam assessment; the results of any homework assignments or mock exams; and records of performance over the course of study. Where we have previous relevant examined assessments, for example, components of functional skills exams and previous attempts at the Functional Skills or GCSE exams, these have been used to check the validity of our calculated grades.
  2. These centrally calculated grades have then been reviewed by your teacher(s) and the team manager to check their validity.
  3. Where a teacher and team manager felt a calculated grade did not accurately reflect a student’s performance, they were able to submit additional evidence to the Head of Academy for Maths and English.
  4. Grades were then signed-off by: the team manager and one staff member; the Head of Academy; and then the Vice Principals. These are also validated against historical results within our College.
  5. Results are then checked by our Examinations Department and submitted to the Exam Board.
  6. A declaration is then signed by the Principal to state that a fair and accurate process has been followed. 

External Quality Assurance

To make sure that grades are fair between schools and colleges, exam boards then put all centre assessment grades through a process of standardisation using a model developed with Ofqual.

The standardisation model draws on the following sources of evidence: historical outcomes for each centre; the prior attainment (Key Stage 2 or GCSE) of this year’s students and those in previous years within each centre; and the expected national grade distribution for the subject given the prior attainment of the national entry. More information can be found here.

Ranking

If you would like further information regarding your ranking please contact , providing your Full Name, DOB, Course and Subjects required.

Appeals

A copy of our Student Appeals Policy is available on our website www.harlow-college.ac.uk

Please note, that in Summer 2020 Ofqual has stated that it is not in the best interests of students to challenge centre-assessed grades. The only grounds for appeal are:

  1. An administrative error by either the Exam board or the College, these are expected to be quickly found and corrected. They can be dealt with informally.
  2. Where a student or others have concerns about bias, discrimination or any other factor and believe that a centre has not behaved with care or integrity when grading, a student can appeal to their centre. This needs to be done using Form B in the Student Appeals Policy within 5 working days of receiving the examination grade.

COVID-19 Info

Update for students and parents 13 May 2020

Dear Students, Parents and Carers,

I am sure, like us, you have been paying close attention to the Prime Minister's statements over the last few days and announcements about return to education for some year groups in schools and colleges.

The government has proposed the possibility of face-to-face delivery to supplement online learning for some groups of college students in June. We are currently awaiting detailed government guidance with regards to which groups of students will be prioritised and clear expectations for maintaining health and safety.

Please be assured that our first priority will be to ensure the safety of our students and staff before we begin any face-to-face learning. In the meantime we will continue with our current online learning.

As always we will keep you informed as we prepare for the coming weeks. If you have any questions or queries, please make contact with us at

Update for Students and Parents

Firstly, as a college we wanted to say a huge thank you for your patience and engagement during these difficult times – our staff have been amazed by the quality of work produced by students working from home.

We wanted to update you as you can appreciate the Government are still unclear as to the outcomes for students this year.

Please be assured that no student will be left behind and we will do our best to ensure an appropriate outcome for you.

Vocational and Technical programmes
  • As you will be aware the Government has published an initial document on how Vocational and Technical qualifications will be graded for the Summer exam period 2020.
  • We expect further information on this process in 2-3 weeks.
  • Teaching and learning must continue online, work will be marked and tracked on Pro-Monitor or Onefile with re-submissions available where needed.
  • For students expecting to stay with us next year, either on a new course or continuing into the second year, keep showing your commitment to your studies.
  • Stay in contact with your tutors. Let them know if you are struggling. They now have Microsoft Teams and should be contacting you via this.
  • If you have any further questions, please direct these to your team manager or teachers in the first instance, they will forward onto the best person to answer them for you.
A Level and GCSE students
  • As you will be aware the Government has published an initial document on how A Level and GCSE qualifications will be graded for the Summer exam period 2020.
  • We are working through this information.
  • Results days remain the same, 13th August for A Levels and 20th August for GCSE.
  • Teaching and Learning will continue for all A Level final year students and all GCSE students until the 7th May 2020.
  • For A Level year one students teaching and learning must continue online, work will be marked and tracked on Pro-Monitor.
  • For students expecting to stay with us next year, either on a new course or continuing into the second year, keep showing your commitment to your studies.
  • Stay in contact with your tutors. Let them know if you are struggling. They now have Microsoft Teams and should be contacting you via this.
  • If you have any further questions, please direct these to your team manager or teachers in the first instance, they will forward onto the best person to answer them for you.
Continue to stay safe and keep well.

Online Fraud Warning

Parents and Carers

The Government has issued guidance that all schools and colleges close from the end of Friday 20 March 2020, apart from for a limited number of students. These students will be contacted separately.

We have now commenced online learning and continue this until further notice. Students should follow the instructions provided by their teams for study. If they have any problems accessing learning they should contact 

We have been advised that our students should follow these key principles:

  1. If it is at all possible for a student to be at home, then they should be.
  2. If a student needs specialist support or is vulnerable, then educational provision will be available for them (we will contact them separately).
  3. Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
  4. Parents should also do everything they can to ensure students are not mixing socially in a way that can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.

For parents of students working in critical sectors as part of the COVID-19 response, we are advising that students should be working online at home. We believe this is a sensible decision as our students are over the age of 16 and do not require childcare. If this is a concern please contact us at  or 07827 838913.

We understand that this is a difficult time for students, whose examinations and assessments have been cancelled. Our sector is working closely with the Department for Education to ensure there is clarity regarding how students will gain their qualifications.

Please read the latest guidance

New Students/Applicants

Harlow College understands that this is a very uncertain time for everyone who was expecting to sit exams this summer. We know that students and parents may be worried about how that might affect plans to start a course with us in September. 

You will still be able to take up a place at College next academic year and we will follow government guidelines to ensure that you can progress to the right course of study. 

The Department for Education has outlined plans to award students a calculated grade for their GCSEs and A levels this summer and an exam option for those that wish to take it as soon as is reasonably possible after schools and colleges reopen.

Ofqual announcements on summer exams and qualifications 
 
Ofqual’s board met this week (w/c 23rd March) and they have made two separate announcements on academic qualifications (A-levels, GCSEs) and technical/vocational ones. On A-levels and GCSEs, they say that:
 
From w/c 30th March, they’ll publish detailed information about the process and timetable for the summer cycle. They’ll also explain the steps they’d like teachers to follow and provide more guidance on teacher assessment grading.
By Easter, they’ll explain the process they’ll put in place to make sure grades are fair and what the appeals process will be.
As soon as possible, they’ll clarify arrangements for additional autumn exams
 
Ofqual will not be making announcements on technical and vocational qualifications until after Easter but say in a separate announcement that qualifications “used mainly for progression” will involve a similar estimation process to academic qualifications whereas other qualifications will either be adapted or - if there are safety-critical or licence to practice aspects to the qualification or the role - delayed. AoC staff (principally Eddie Playfair and Catherine Sezen) are closely involved in this work. You can read Ofqual’s statement here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-details-on-exams-and-grades-announced

We will respond quickly and fairly to all further guidance from the government to ensure students are able to continue with their education with the minimum disruption and are not disadvantaged.

Harlow College will continue to operate a limited admissions service to ensure online applications and telephone interviews can continue during this closure period. You can access course information and apply online by visiting https://www.harlow-college.ac.uk/apply for Harlow College and http://www.stanstedairportcollege.ac.uk/about/course-guide-2019-20 for Stansted Airport College.

Any questions regarding applications and interviews can be emailed to

Would you like to talk to someone about career choices and your next step?

Email: 

Or you can leave us a message

Students and Apprentices

From Monday 23 March 2020 all students will be sent online work to undertake, and face-to-face delivery will cease, as set out below:

Your teacher will have provided you with an overview of the units that you are currently studying and access to materials and online resources. 

For Full-time and HE learners work will be set via ShowbieQube or directly via email. 

For part-time students and Apprentices – work will be set via the Qube or sent directly by email. 

In all circumstances students should follow the plans and instructions given.

If you have any problems accessing work please email 

Students should check their Showbie/Qube and/or College email account on their normal College days in case of work updates.

Apprentices should call their employer and follow employer advice regarding attendance at work.

Students on work placements or work experience are advised NOT to attend their work experience placement.

Students can communicate with their College tutors, should there be any questions. See here (link to ‘A Guide to Learning at Home’) for further advice on studying from home that you may find useful.

If you are in receipt of free school meals, arrangements are in place for funds that would normally be allocated to your student card to now be paid directly to you.

Ofqual announcements on summer exams and qualifications 

Ofqual’s board met this week (w/c 23rd March) and they have made two separate announcements on academic qualifications (A-levels, GCSEs) and technical/vocational ones. On A-levels and GCSEs, they say that:

From w/c 30th March, they’ll publish detailed information about the process and timetable for the summer cycle. They’ll also explain the steps they’d like teachers to follow and provide more guidance on teacher assessment grading.

By Easter, they will explain the process they’ll put in place to make sure grades are fair and what the appeals process will be.

As soon as possible, they will clarify arrangements for additional autumn exams

Ofqual will not be making announcements on technical and vocational qualifications until after Easter but say in a separate announcement that qualifications “used mainly for progression” will involve a similar estimation process to academic qualifications whereas other qualifications will either be adapted or - if there are safety-critical or licence to practice aspects to the qualification or the role - delayed. AoC staff (principally Eddie Playfair and Catherine Sezen) are closely involved in this work. You can read Ofqual’s statement here.

A Guide to Learning at Home

As students at Harlow College you are in a lucky position in that so much of the delivery takes place using digital tools. This means you can continue to learn with your teacher whilst at home.

You now need to think about how you will learn over the next few weeks. You need to do the following things:

Your teacher will send you work home via Showbie, QUBE, OneFile or email
  1. Ensure you have a suitable space at home and get yourself organised for learning so that you can continue to be successful in your college course.
  2. Ensure you start your day by 09.30am
  3. Your teacher will be available to support you during your usual lesson times and will be contactable via the methods above. You can also respond to your teacher and send your teacher completed work using those same tools.
  4. Set yourself a home routine and stick to this – you must continue to complete your college work at home and meet deadlines set by your tutor.
  5. Ensure you have achieved the 4 steps to success for the day including your own improves.
  6. Work for set times without distractions such as the TV or your phone and reward yourself with regular breaks.
  7. Ensure that you have handed in work by set deadlines as directed by your tutors.
  8. You will also have access to work on things like Padlet walls and OneDrive or actual web links to help you with your learning.
  9. If you are studying maths or English, please use the links below to access a full range of support.

Maths

https://corbettmaths.com

http://padlet.com/harlowcollege/mathsrevision

Functional Skills English

https://harlowcollege2.padlet.org/georgina_choat/FS

GCSE English

https://harlowcollege2.padlet.org/georgina_choat/Eng20

Employers

Further to our first communication regarding the College moving to online learning from Monday 23 March 2020, here are the arrangements during this period:

For apprentices, work has been set through digital systems and communicated to the apprentice directly. The apprentices have been advised to contact you directly for instruction regarding expectations and attendance at work. The work that has been set will cover the normal 20% off the job expectation.

If you are hosting a student on a placement they have been advised not to attend during this period. We apologise for any disruption this may cause.

For any queries please email

Useful Information

Find Your local Support Group

Harlow Foodbank

Harlow Council Coronavirus Advice

Harlow Community Hub helpline

Harlow Community Hub is a group of volunteers offering phone support, reassurance and advice to the most vulnerable in Harlow - primarily those without internet access or support networks.

You can contact them on 01279 927005 or 

You can read the Community Hub privacy notice to find out how they will handle your personal information.

Coronavirus Leaflet – Broxbourne Council

Safeguarding

refuge.org.uk For Women and Children Against Domestic Violence

Young Minds

Childline

mind.org.uk/

Online Safety

thinkuknow.co.uk

internetmatters.org

parentinfo.org

lgfl.net

net-aware.org.uk