As a UK and international awarding organisation, we’re working with Ofqual, UK Department for Education and JCQ, as well as other UK and international exam boards, governments, and universities around the world, to confirm our approach to the summer 2021 exam series so students receive the outcomes they deserve.
Ofqual announcements and links to further information can be found below.
20 January 2021
The Joint Council for qualifications (JCQ) has published guidance for teachers and senior leaders for completing NEA this summer.
15 January 2021
Today, Ofqual have released their consultation about the Summer 2021 General Qualifications exam series. We encourage you to read the consultation carefully and respond with your views, as by sharing your insight and experience Ofqual have the best chance of ensuring that the approach developed meets the needs of a range of stakeholders. The consultation closes on 29 January 2021.
6 January 2021
In a statement to Parliament today, the Education Secretary has confirmed that GCSE, AS and A level exams will not go ahead this summer and will be replaced by a form of teacher-assessed grades, with training and support provided to ensure these are awarded fairly and consistently.
Extra measures to support students ahead of next summer’s exams
On 3 December, the Department for Education announced that students sitting exams and other assessments in 2021 will benefit from a package of exceptional measures to improve fairness and prevent disruption.
We will be sharing further details on all elements in due course. Please see below for further information about additional exams in 2021 and advance notice.
The Department for Education confirmed that students for GCSE, AS and A level will be given an opportunity to sit a paper if an individual misses the main exams or assessments due to illness or self-isolation. We are working with the other awarding bodies and Ofqual to determine the nature of these additional exams and will provide full details as soon as we can.
We can confirm that students taking International GCSEs will also be given an opportunity to sit a paper if an individual misses the main exams or assessments due to illness or self-isolation.
As is normal every year, the special consideration process will be available for students who have been impacted by temporary illness or events outside of their control. For further details on this process, including partial absences please take a look at the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) guide to the special consideration process.
The Department for Education also confirmed that, in order to focus revision, advance notice of some topic areas covered in our GCSE, AS and A level exams will be made available to students. We are continuing to work closely with Ofqual and the other awarding bodies to confirm a process to facilitate this. Our primary concern is to ensure students have the maximum opportunity to cover content and prepare as fully as possible ahead of the examination series.
We intend to apply the principles of the advance notice approach to International GCSEs where appropriate and will provide further information on this in due course.
We will provide further details of this process, including how this information will be provided and when, early in the new year.
Ofqual have opened a consultation and are inviting input on ‘Support materials and advance information in 2021 GCSE, AS and A level exams’. If you would like to share your views on this, please do visit the government website for further details on how have your say. This consultation closes on 20 December.
Students to be given more time to prepare for 2021 exams
On 12 October, the Department for Education confirmed that GCSE, AS and A level examinations will take place in summer 2021, and that the summer exam series in 2021 will be moved back by three weeks. It will start on 7 June and end on 2 July for almost all GCSE, AS and A levels.
The exception to this is that one GCSE Maths and one GCSE English exam will be held just before the May half-term to allow any Year 11 pupils who are affected by COVID-19 the best possible chance of still sitting a paper in each of these core subjects.
Results days will be Tuesday 24 August for AS and A levels and Friday 27 August for GCSEs.
The deadline date for coursework submission has not yet been confirmed by JCQ. As soon as this has been finalised, we will let you know.
Exams and assessments in 2021
On 3 August, Ofqual confirmed changes to GCSEs, AS and A levels next year, following consultation; and published new proposals for adjustments to VTQs.