Exams Issues - Secondary Schools only

Dear colleagues

I regret to report that there seems to be quite a number of issues being encountered by colleagues across the country, particularly with respect to the treatment of OCR Nationals and BTEC awards. This regrettable situation has arisen largely owing to the late and inconsistent release of basedata by exam bodies (it should be recognised that Capita SIMS has no early access to basedata) and errors in the publication of result files.

We continue to monitor the situation and will provide further information as soon as we have clarity.

I can also report that, whilst advice has been that there is no requirement for Summer release 4 in addition to the patches already applied to your SIMS system, our experience of supporting the management of post 16 qualifications seems to indicate that it may be desirable to apply Summer release 4 on top of the patches. I have requested clarification from Capita SIMS and will write again as soon as I have it.

I also draw to your attention the following news items released by Capita SIMS today:

BTEC Data (16:00 16th August)

Further basedata submitted to us by users has enabled us to refine our PI calculations as they affect BTEC qualifications. New or revised values that we have been able to identify are:

BTEC/AW1: Grade P, 0.5 GCSE, 12.5 pts (default value, but there are some instances of 0.25 GCSE and 6.25 pts)

BTEC/CE1: Grade P, 1 GCSE, 25 pts

BTEC/AW2: Grade P, 0.5 GCSE, 23 pts

BTEC/DI1: Grade P, 4 GCSE, 100 pts.

We have not found any discrepancies at other levels.

A revised PI Equivalence table patch will be released early next week to enable schools that are using these qualifications to improve the accuracy of their PI calculations.

We remain in regular contact with colleagues in other LAs and at Capita SIMS and will continue to disseminate information as soon as it is made available.

The upshot is that I now write to advise you to consider your own situation and:

Ensure that you have successfully completed all of the preparatory work described in the results day survival kit (copy attached)

Make arrangements to apply such upgrades as may be required to your database as and when they are released early next week.

Log any requests for support to helpdesk@edit.org.uk as soon as possible.

Ensure that you have all non-EDI results entered to your system and reconciled prior to Wednesday of nest week.

Whilst we are bringing in extra staff and will make every effort to respond to requests for support on Wednesday 22nd August, we do anticipate heavier demand than is usual and may need to prioritise issues with the import of results data over the management and analysis of non-EDI results.

We remain in regular contact with colleagues in other LAs and at Capita SIMS and will continue to disseminate information as soon as it is made available.

I can assure you that both Capita SIMS and ourselves are sensitive to the pressure that this places on you and are working hard to ensure that the download and analysis of results goes as smoothly as possible.