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Centre Update 2: For centres regarding Ofqual’s Consultation on its Extraordinary Regulatory Framework – Proposal for ESOL Skills for Life learners

On 9th April, the UK Government set out how it expects vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs) to be assessed and awarded during the current pandemic, when schools and colleges have been closed to help prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Ofqual asked for awarding organisations to compile a list of qualifications they offer that fall into one of those categories and what their mitigation approach would be, i.e. how they plan to support learners and centres with getting final results. These options include:

  • Safely estimate or calculate results to issue to students
  • Adapt assessments so that they can be taken in different contexts but still safely and validly measuring the same skills, knowledge and understanding
  • Delay/reschedule (only used as a last resort).

On 24th April Ofqual opened a consultation on its Extraordinary Regulatory Framework, which includes qualifications available for public funding that fall into one of three categories:

  • Qualifications where the primary use is to progress to FE/HE
  • Qualifications where there is a mixed use to progress to FE, HE or employment
  • Qualifications where the primary use is to provide a License to Practise/access to a profession or certificate of occupational competency.

Proposal for ESOL Skills for Life centres:

Pending the final list of qualifications in scope, which will be published after the consultation ends on 8th May, ESB International is proposing to calculate the results for our ESOL Skills for Life learners. After the Government’s position is finalised following the consultation, we will commence to contact centres that had cancelled assessments in March 2020 and commence the process for centres to calculate grades based on published trusted evidence criteria and subject to quality assurance checks by ESB International. Next, ESB International will move to call for bookings and registration of learners for the summer term assessments.

We will send you detailed evidence criteria that may include use of evidence to calculate results such as:

  • Banked component marks and grades
    – Class work/homework, Initial assessments and diagnostic assessments
  • Internal assessment marks and grades not yet subject to Centre Assessment Standards scrutiny
    – Previous achievement of Skills for Life Awards by the learner, Individual Learning Plans, Formative  assessments
  • Information provided by centres in relation to likely performance
    – Predicted grades, Prior attainment data – Mock exam results, Teacher profiles of individual learners

ESB International for quality assurance purposes will use evidence such as:

  • Historical centre data

Current Action required of centres

  1. Please read the consultation document to understand the extraordinary framework – do please participate in the consultation
  2. Commence internal planning for calculated grades for the cancelled March assessments and review the potential sources of trusted evidence that you hold
  3. Commence planning for Summer Term cohorts and plan to gather learner registration data in readiness for booking

Once the framework is enacted ESB International will commence communicating with you to implement calculated results for your learners.

Any questions should be sent to

Please note that we are running on a skeleton staff due to furloughing and will respond to any queries as quickly as we can.


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