10:16 am, Wednesday, 20th January 2021
Department for Education update- 19 January
Consultation on how GCSE, AS and A level grades should be awarded in summer 2021
On Friday, we launched a joint consultation with Ofqual on how GCSE, AS and A level grades should be awarded in summer 2021. The consultation closes at 11:45pm on Friday 29 January. We want to hear the views of students who were due to take their exams, their parents and carers, their teachers, school and college leaders and others who have an interest, including further and higher education providers, and employers.
The Department for Education is putting our trust in teachers and their judgement to determine grades. Grades will be based on teacher assessment, with teachers supported in making decisions with guidance and training from exam boards to ensure these are awarded fairly and consistently.
The consultation will consider the range of evidence teachers use to award a grade, which could include coursework, other forms of assessment and papers provided by exam boards, to support consistency and fairness across schools and colleges.
Ofqual guidance collections
Ofqual has grouped together collections for their publications for GCSE, AS and A level qualifications in the academic year 2020 to 2021 and vocational, technical and other general qualifications in the academic year 2020 to 2021. The purpose of this is to make it easier to locate guidance on the same topic.
COVID workforce fund: request for volunteers
The Department for Education has launched a new COVID-19 workforce fund to support schools and eligible FE and sixth-form colleges with the additional cost burdens due to staff absence as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19). The fund covers additional costs from 1 November to the end of the autumn term.
To be eligible:
schools must have recorded a total teacher and leader absence rate at or above 20% on a given day OR a total teacher and leader absence rate of 10% or above for 15 or more consecutive school days. Schools must also have reserves of no more than 4% of their annual income left at the end of the yearsixth-form and general FE colleges must have recorded a total teacher absence rate at or above 20% on a given day OR a total teacher absence rate of 10% or above for 15 or more consecutive school days. Sixth form and general FE colleges must also have data submitted for the November financial return which demonstrates an end of month cash position of 45 days or less at any point between November 2020 to March 2021special schools and special post-16 institutions follow more flexible criteria which allow claims to be made for the absence of support staff in addition to teaching staff.
To apply, eligible education settings will need to fill out an online claim form, which should be launched in Spring 2021. To develop the online claim form, we will be conducting user research in January. We are looking to recruit volunteers from across eligible schools and colleges to take part in this user research. Volunteers will be walked through a prototype of the claim journey by the user researcher. This will only take one hour, and feedback will be instrumental in shaping the form to ensure it meets the needs of our users.
To express your interest, please contact:
DfE daily coronavirus (COVID-19) email to the education sector
Due to an increase in requests to be added to the distribution list for the Department for Education daily coronavirus (COVID-19) email to the education sector, we have now set up a registration process. If you have colleagues who wish to receive the daily email directly, please ask them to use this subscription form.
The information below has not changed since our last update
Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline
The Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline and the PHE Advice Service (option 1) is available to answer any questions you have about coronavirus (COVID-19) relating to education settings and children’s social care.
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm
Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm
Please listen carefully to all of the available options before selecting the most appropriate option for your nursery, school, college or university.
Look up your unique organisation number (UON)
If you have not received your unique organisation number (UON) for ordering new coronavirus (COVID-19) test kits you can look it up using your unique reference number (URN) or your UK provider reference number (UKPRN) or by calling the Test and Trace helpdesk on 119.
Department for Education guidance
Our guidance to support education providers, local authorities and parents during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak can be accessed using the links below: