Assessments: Fees and Charges

Department for Education written question – answered on 22 September 2021.

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Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a fund for parents and guardians of home-schooled children to receive remuneration for the costs of (a) GCSE and (b) A level examination fees.

Photo of Robin Walker Robin Walker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, Minister of State (Education)

The department recognises the choice of parents and guardians to home educate their children. For most children, particularly the most vulnerable, we are clear that school is the best place for their education. Our guidance on elective home education highlights that parents/carers who home educate will need to assume full financial responsibility for their child’s education. This includes paying for the cost of entering their child for examinations. Some local authorities may provide financial or other assistance to home-educating families for public examinations, but this is discretionary.

In 2021, in light of the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, GCSE grades were determined by teachers (Teacher Assessed Grades). To support centres with the additional requirements of assessing private candidates in 2021, the department provided an exceptional grant to centres of £200 per private candidate entry. This funding aimed to avoid these additional costs being passed on to private candidates, so that they could access qualifications at a similar cost to a normal exam year.

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