3 April 2020
Last week we promised to let you know how Access to HE students would be assessed or continue their learning in the current uncertain environment. Since then, we’ve been working closely with the Department for Education, Ofqual and other organisations to produce a clear, fair and consistent approach to assessment for the award of the Access to HE Diploma.
Students who planned to complete their Access to HE course by 31 July 2020
If you’re due to complete your Access to HE studies by 31 July this year, you will now receive calculated grades for all remaining assessments with submission dates after 20 March 2020.
We are working hard to provide you with information about exactly how your grades will be calculated as quickly as possible. Once available, we will publish it on the Access to HE website.
In the meantime, we’re working with Access Validating Agencies and course providers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland to ensure that the principles for the assessment of grades are fair and robust.
We will also ensure that the distribution of grades follows a similar pattern to previous years, so that you do not face a disadvantage as a consequence of these extraordinary circumstances.
We know that, as Access to HE students, many of you are engaged in a tricky balance between work, family responsibilities and studies. However, it is important that all students are as well prepared as they can be for their transition into higher education, so making use of the resources prepared by Access to HE tutors and participating in continuing virtual teaching and tutorials, where possible, is key to ensure you have covered all the subject knowledge required of your Diploma.
Continuing with learning will help all Access to HE students feel more confident that they are ready to take the next step in their education or career pathway. We expect Access to HE course tutors to continue to deliver teaching and support. Therefore, we encourage you to continue your learning wherever you can. If you need help or further support, you should contact your course provider.
We recognise that some students may feel disappointed that they haven’t been able to complete their assessments. If you do not feel your calculated grades reflect your expected performance, you will have the opportunity to appeal or you may choose to sit your assessments at the earliest reasonable opportunity. If you do this, you should be aware that taking your assessments later may impact you progressing to university in September as planned. You will also have the opportunity to appeal the process of assessment for the award of the Access to HE Diploma that has been followed in your case.
Students who plan to complete their Access to HE course after 31 July 2020
If you are scheduled to continue your studies after 31 July 2020, you will be supported to complete your studies through changes to the delivery of teaching and assessment of your course.
Access to HE course tutors are working hard to adapt to new ways of delivery and assessment, and are developing materials to help you get the most out of your learning in order to prepare you for higher study.
We know that the current environment is a really challenging one, and we want all students to be supported as effectively as possible during this time. Access to HE providers and Access Validating Agencies already have in place procedures to allow you to request extensions to deadlines and to identify where extenuating circumstances may affect your academic performance, should the current situation make studying difficult. These procedures will certainly be available to you. It is also possible that some assessments may be rescheduled. If you do not believe the correct process has been followed in your case, you will be able to appeal.
We will continue to provide updates for all Access to HE students in this section of the Access to HE website and will share the latest information with Access Validating Agencies, course providers and higher education providers.
You can also read our FAQs.
If you need help or further support, please speak to your course providers.