Assessments: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 12th October 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Green

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to assist private candidates denied a centre assessment grade due to the cancellation of exams this year; and what plans they have to prevent a similar situation in 2021.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The department recognises that there is a small group of students for whom there was not enough evidence for a grade to be awarded in the summer. These students will have the opportunity to sit exams in all subjects in the autumn. These candidates should be supported by their previous exam centre to enter the series, even if the student is no longer enrolled at that centre or where they are a private candidate. The department’s exam support service will help schools and colleges with any additional costs associated with running exams in the autumn, including fees charged by awarding organisations, sites and invigilation.

The government is committed to ensuring that students taking exams in 2021 receive the qualifications they deserve and that next year’s exam series proceeds fairly, efficiently and commands public confidence. We recognise that students due to sit exams and assessments next year will have experienced disruption to their education due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We have been working closely with Ofqual, the exam boards and groups representing teachers, schools and colleges to consider our approach to exams and other assessments next year. Although we are clear in our expectation that exams will go ahead in 2021, we are preparing for all eventualities and this includes considering arrangements for private candidates next year.

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