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Home Education: Assessments

Question for Department for Education

UIN 137288, tabled on 13 January 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that home-schooled children are able to receive grades for (a) GCSE, (b) iGCSE and (c) A-Level examinations in the same way as children in the main school system.

Answered on

22 January 2021

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, the Government considers that exams cannot be held in a way which is fair. The Department have therefore announced that GCSE, AS and A level exams will not go ahead this summer as planned.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, has asked the Chief Regulator at Ofqual to find a clear and accessible route for private candidates and those not in school this year to be assessed and receive a grade. The Department and Ofqual have launched a two-week consultation on how to fairly award all pupils a grade that supports them to progress to the next stage of their lives, including consulting specifically on four different approaches for private candidates to receive a grade.

The consultation can be accessed via this link and will be open until 23:45 on 29 January 2020: The Department and Ofqual strongly encourage all our stakeholders, including private candidates and their parents, to respond. We will continue to engage with a range of relevant stakeholders when developing plans for our policy on GCSE, AS and A level assessments in 2021, as will the exams regulator Ofqual.

International GCSEs are not regulated by Ofqual and are not part of the arrangements for summer 2021 that apply to GCSEs and A/AS levels. The Department is in contact with the exam boards that provide these qualifications to understand their current position and make clear our views before they take a final decision.