Information for Access to Higher Education Learners

Guidance for Access to HE Learners completing July 2020

Below you will find all information relating to your Access to Higher Education programme and the changes that will be made to your assessment processes as a direct response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The college has recently received formal guidance from the Qualification Assurance Agency (QAA) relating to the grading and completion of your qualification. 

We have taken extracts from the official document released, outlined below, to clarify next steps and outline how your final grade will be calculated. 

Guidance for Learners

It has been announced that for the Access to HE programmes in the academic year 2019/20 all grades for assessments that have, or are to be submitted after the 20th March 2020 will be assessed by predicted/estimated grades from your tutors. The following guidance, in conjunction with the awarding body and the qualification regulators (QAA), will explain what will happen with the process of the predicted/expected grades and what is expected of you during the remote teaching for the remainder of the year. Further information which supplements the following guidance is available here


Prior to the guidance received all exams were cancelled and an alternative assessment was put into place. This is still the case and the alternative assessment will now be a predicted/estimated grade. 

Predicted grading

For all assessments that were due for submission after the 20th March 2020 predicted/estimated grades will be given. 

Predicted/estimated grades will be grades that the tutors believe would have been likely to have been achieved if you were continuing the course within college. 

Predicted/estimated grades will be based on the following criteria:

  • Prior attainment on course – Tutors will look at your current grade profiles of assessments to help support their professional and fair decision making.
  • Formative assessments (assessment for learning) – Any work that has been submitted after the 20th March will be looked at, including any draft submissions and work that has been conducted during the lockdown period to help support professional and fair decisions. Additionally, further engagement and submission of work, if you choose to, will add to this body of evidence to help support professional and fair decisions. 
  • Any other records of student performance over the course of study. This could include learning outside the classroom, attendance records, professional behaviour, classroom conduct and presentations delivered for example. 
  • Should you wish to submit further work to support your final grade, this must be made by 11th May 2020, in agreement with your Curriculum Leader

Each piece of assessment that was due after the 20th March 2020 will be predicted/estimated with the full grading descriptors to give an overall grade. The predicted/estimated assessment grades submitted will reflect a fair, reasonable and carefully considered judgement of the ‘most likely grades a student would have achieved if they had completed their assessments.’ The college will be submitting these grades to the awarding body by the end of May 2020. 

Tutor Reference

In addition to the predicted/estimated grades tutors will be writing a reference to support your UCAS applications and for future education and employment purposes. This reference will reflect the predicted/estimated grades that are submitted to the awarding body and you will receive this before the 27th July 2020. The college will not include the grades you have been predicted within this reference. Please note that the predicted/estimated assessment grades may not be the same as the predicted grades provided to UCAS earlier in the academic year. 

Do I still need to continue with my assessments?

There is no formal expectation for you to complete your assessments. The awarding body, the regulator and the college recognise the impact the current situation has on you as a learner and the ability to complete assessment work whilst balancing all of your personal responsibilities. 

If you wish to continue and complete your assessments and engage with your tutors to complete these, then you are more than welcome to do so. We recognise the importance for you to be ready for your next level of study and the knowledge and skills you need to be successful in the future, therefore if you wish to submit assessment work in order to receive formative feedback you may do so. 

Remember, additional formative assessments may support your predicted grades. As we are looking to submit your grades by the end of May 2020, any additional work you wish to submit can be used to support our professional and fair decision-making.

When will I know my results?

The guidance outlined by QAA indicates that tutors are not to share predicted/estimated grades with you until these have been moderated by the awarding body. As soon as these grades have been confirmed by the awarding body we will notify you. Additionally, grades will be published and sent to you in the usual manner. Therefore, it is expected that you will have your certificates and formal grade transcripts between the end of July 2020 and the beginning of August 2020. UCAS will be updated as normal and around this period you should access UCAS to see the status of your applications. 

Can I appeal my predicted grades?

All tutors will be working together to make the best possible judgements for your remaining assessments and in ensuring that you are not disadvantaged in this unprecedented situation. We also appreciate that you may feel disappointed that you were not able to complete all of your formal assessment work. The guidance received from the regulators state that if you feel that your predicted/estimated grades do not reflect your expected performance you will have ‘an opportunity to appeal or you may choose to sit your assessments at the earliest reasonable opportunity (when all providers are operating normally). However, you will need to be aware that if you decide to complete an assessment at a later date this may impact your progression to university in September.

QAA has spoken to UCAS and was reassured to hear that institutions intend to be flexible wherever possible and will do all they can to support students to progress.

If you feel that your predicted grades do not reflect your performance, please contact your tutors and curriculum leader to discuss in the first instance. 

We understand that this is a lot of information to take in and read and should there be any concerns or queries regarding your programme, please contact your curriculum leader in the first instance. 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your dedication and hard work whilst at the college.  It is our ambition to continue working with you throughout this challenging period in order to support your continued development and progression in education. We sincerely hope that we will have the opportunity to come together again in the near future, but in the meantime, stay in touch and stay safe

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