2.6.21: Update to UK centres regarding remote and face-to-face assessment for the rest of the academic year

Update regarding ESB assessments for ESOL Skills for Life and Speech qualifications

Dear Centres,

Following on from my last update on February 25th, I can now confirm the process for assessing our Speech and Language qualifications.

It has been fantastic to see our centres in England reopening this month and assessments being booked and already taking place.

On Friday, 26th March, Ofqual published details of the new framework, which Awarding Organisations must work alongside to support centres and learners in achieving the qualifications they have been working towards. 

Outcomes for ESB International’s UK based centres and assessments

The primary aim is for assessments to take place wherever possible, as long as they can be carried out safely.

ESB International’s Speech and ESOL Skills for Life Speaking and Listening assessments will continue to take place remotely until half term. We use the video conferencing facility that centres habitually use and that your learners are used to. We sincerely hope to be able to return to face-to-face assessments in June, but will need to follow public health guidance at all times. We will review offering face-to-face assessments again and share any updates with you ready for the beginning of the last half term of the academic year.

Centres booking ESOL Skills for Life Reading or Writing assessments will need to manage these assessments within public health guidelines.

Teacher Assessed Grades:

There may be a range of circumstances where centres were not or may not be able to carry out assessments, in which case a form of teacher assessed grades (TAGs) could be used for learners affected. Teacher Assessed Grades will not occur under the same circumstances as the previous Centre Assessed Grades.

In relation to ESB centres and assessments, because we are an on demand model, occasions whereby Teacher Assessed Grades may need to be used will be minimal, as centres in most circumstances can rebook assessments which they may have had to cancel or delay. This position is in line with the outcomes of the initial consultation.

We envisage few circumstances where ESB centres may need to use Teacher Assessed Grades:

  • Where cancelled assessments cannot be rebooked as learners have finished their course.
  • Where assessments cannot take place on public health grounds or remotely.
    Note – Teacher assessed grades will not apply to our Graded Examinations in Speech.

The guidance documentation and links to associated forms for Teacher Assessed Grades can be found here:

Form 1: Application for Teacher Assessed Grades: https://forms.gle/ip8heaojxkoR8MJL9

Form 2: Head of Centre Declaration: https://forms.gle/gGJWqusDxvUhQ9ZW7

If you feel your circumstances may require the use of Teacher Assessed Grades as outlined above, please contact the Product Development team at product@esbuk.org to discuss things further.

So please do book your ESB assessments with confidence and as previously shared with you, detailed information about how we are adapting qualifications, and what centres and learners need to do to prepare for remote assessments are set out in the guidance documents below:-

If you have any questions about these guidance documents or delivering adapted assessments, again please contact the Product Development team at product@esbuk.org.

You’ll see a new look ESB website ready for the Summer Term and we hope it provides you with clearer information for your ESB journey and a real sense of just how impactful ESB assessments are to your learners. 

I wish you a restful Easter break.

Tina Renshaw 
Chief Executive 
English Speaking Board (International) Ltd.