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Letter from the Principal


26th February 2021

Dear Student,

Further to my update at the start of the week, I want to let you know our plans for phasing the return to College from the week of 8th March 2021.

For the majority of students, we will revert to your pre-Christmas timetable for your programme of study. This means that in the three weeks from 8 March 2021, we will retain an element of blended and/or online learning as part of your course.

Doing this will enable us to safely phase the return to full time face to face teaching, for all students, from the week of 12 April 2021. In practice full time onsite delivery, will be from 13 April, as the Monday after the Easter Break is a training day.

For vocational courses, where necessary, your tutors will confirm your timetable with you. For students operating in ‘Red’ and ‘Blue’ weeks, the week of 8th Mach 2021, will be a ‘Blue’ week.

You will be offered lateral flow testing (LFT) during the first week of your return. In line with the Government guidance you will be offered tests onsite during your first week, with further tests provided for you to administer at home. Whilst we strongly encourage you to participate in using the LFTs, they are not mandatory.

LFTs are one step we can take to identify members of our community who are potentially carrying the virus, without symptoms – they are asymptomatic. If you get a negative test result, this means that the test has not detected a viral load. It does not provide absolute assurance you are virus-free, and you must therefore follow the wider Covid-safety measures on campus and in the community. If you get a positive test result, you will be given advice on the action you need to take about self-isolating and how you can continue to engage in your studies.

In line with the Government guidance, we will also be asking students to wear face coverings in all circumstances where social distancing is not possible. Unlike previously, this may now include the classroom environment. Your tutor will advise you if this applies. The usual exemptions apply to the wearing of face coverings.

Yesterday (25 February 2021), the exams regulator, Ofqual, released its guidance on how we should confirm qualification outcomes for the summer of 2021. In large part, these will be based on the assessments made by teaching staff. There is a summary for GCSE, AS and A Level qualifications and a summary for Vocational and Technical qualifications.

Unlike the arrangements for last year, teaching staff may still set work for assessment to inform their judgements. Therefore, it is critical that you continue to engage in learning and submit any work set for you by teaching staff. This will give them the best possible opportunity to make a rounded judgement. Awarding Bodies are working towards you receiving your results for AS and A levels on 10 August, and GCSEs on 12 August. Results for vocational or technical qualifications linked to moving on to further or higher education should also be issued to students either on or before these dates.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to your studies.

Best wishes,

Lee Probert
Chief Executive and Principal


Letter to Parents about Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs)

June 2021

Dear Parent/Carer,

Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs) 2021

As you will probably be aware, the College has now produced TAGs for many courses. These have been submitted to the awarding organisations within the 18th June deadline, and they now need to go through a process of external moderation. This will involve them sampling examples of marked work to check that we have graded accurately and may potentially result in grades being changed. This is a key reason why we are not allowed to share our proposed grades with students before the results are released on 10th August for A Levels, AS and other Level 3 courses, and 12th August for GCSE courses.

Students’ tutors should, however, have given them feedback on how well they have done in the various pieces of work which will have been used in producing their grade(s). These are also usually recorded on ProPortal. We hope, then, that there will not be many surprises.

When students get their grade, they have the right to ask for clarification as to how it was calculated. They can also appeal against the grade if they think that:-

  • the grade is not consistent with the marks/grades they received in key assessments,
  • they have reason for special consideration, and they think these have not been considered in producing their grade, or

We will be contacting you again later, providing you with links to an online appeals system which will go live on results day. Appeals will need to be made by 16th August if you have a University place depending on the outcome of your appeal, or 3rd September if there is no university place depending on the outcome of the appeal.

Please note that it is not appropriate to appeal against a grade on the grounds that it is different to a student’s UCAS predicted grade, if they have one. UCAS predictions are intended to show prospective universities the potential a student has and are not an estimate of their ‘most likely’ outcome.

TAGs have been produced for A Levels, AS Levels, EPQs, GCSEs, UAL courses, BTEC courses and City and Guilds Technical courses. However, many vocational courses continue to be assessed in the usual way. There is a separate process for you to use if students want to appeal against grades which are not TAGs.

This has been an exceptional academic year, and one which I know many students have found difficult, for quite a wide variety of reasons. We are proud of the progress our students have made in this difficult time and are keen to continue to help them where we can. There will be support available at College on the results days and afterwards for anyone who needs guidance on what their next steps might be.

Yours sincerely,

Glyn Jones

Vice Principal Academic and Applied Education


Letter to Students about Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs)

June 2021

Dear Student,

Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs) 2021

I hope you are enjoying the reduced Covid restrictions and the warmer weather, and that you managed to take advantage of them over the half term break. I know that the last half term was a very busy one for students and tutors alike.

As you will probably be aware, the College has now produced TAGs for many courses. These have been submitted to the awarding organisations within the 18th June deadline, and they now need to go through a process of external moderation. This will involve them sampling examples of marked work to check that we have graded accurately and may potentially result in grades being changed. This is a key reason why we are not allowed to share our proposed grades with students before the results are released on 10th August for A Levels, AS and other Level 3 courses, and 12th August for GCSE courses.

Your tutors should, however, have given you feedback on how well you have done in the various pieces of work which will have been used in producing your grade(s). These are also usually recorded on ProPortal. We hope, then, that there will not be many surprises.

When you get your grade, you have the right to ask for clarification as to how it was calculated. You can also appeal against the grade if you think that:-

We will be contacting you again later, providing you with links to an online appeals system which will go live on results day. Appeals will need to be made by 16th August if you have a University place depending on the outcome of your appeal, or 3rd September if there is no university place depending on the outcome of the appeal.

Please note that it is not appropriate to appeal against a grade on the grounds that it is different to your UCAS predicted grade, if you have one. UCAS predictions are intended to show prospective universities the potential a student has and are not an estimate of their ‘most likely’ outcome.

TAGs have been produced for A Levels, AS Levels, EPQs, GCSEs, UAL courses, BTEC courses and City and Guilds Technical courses. However, many vocational courses continue to be assessed in the usual way. There is a separate process for you to use if you want to appeal against grades which are not TAGs.

While we wait for the results, I hope you will be able to make up for some lost time over the next few weeks – both in terms of your learning and the more social aspects of life! I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on results day to celebrate your achievements.

Yours sincerely,

Glyn Jones

Vice Principal Academic and Applied Education

How AS and A Levels, Vocational & Technical Qualifications and GCSEs will be awarded in Summer 2021

Ofqual have recently release some guidance as to how results will work in 2021.

See below for a full breakdown on how each course type will work for awarding qualifications in 2021.

For more information visit the Ofqual website

FE Tuition Fund Statement

Following the interruption to learning caused by COVID-19 the Government have provided schools and colleges with a one off, ring-fenced fund in 2020/21 to provide small group catch-up sessions for students who experienced disruption to their studies in the spring and summer terms of 2019/20.

At York College we will provide online or face-to-face small group support for 16-19 Study Programme students with a GCSE English and/or maths grade 4 or below or who are experiencing difficulties relating to the disruption to their vocational studies.

The College will provide support specifically related to the following three strands:

  • Vocational Skills for successful study
  • Key English and maths topics for progression
  • GCSE English and maths autumn / summer exams revision sessions

Each session will contain a maximum of five students to ensure that each student receives the intensive catch up support they require to make up for the disruption to their learning following lockdown.

Vocational skills for successful study

As part of our commitment to up-skilling our students’ vocational skills both theoretical and practical, catch-up sessions will aim to ensure that each student is confidently able to develop their practical and technical skills, access and contribute to controlled assessments and contextualise English and maths to their vocational subject.

Key English and maths topics for progression

To ensure that students are equipped with the key skills and knowledge required, it is crucial they have a good understanding of the key concepts of both English language and mathematical principles. Therefore, sessions will focus on developing the critical analysis, reading and numeracy skills required to make progress on their GCSE course.

English and maths autumn / summer exams revision sessions

Students will be directed to a menu of bespoke sessions tailored to their needs. Each session will focus on key topics and or the exam techniques required to secure their GCSE target grade.

Staffing the support

In order to provide students with impactful support, the College will allocate vocational and English and maths specialists to provide the small group catch-up sessions.

How GSSE's, AS and A Levels will be awarded in 2021

Welcome Back Tour

See below for an explanation of the new one-way system that is in place at York College and accompanying maps.

One-way system Ground Floor

One-way system First Floor

Construction Centre one-way system Ground floor

Construction Centre one-way system First Floor

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