COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update

Last updated: 20 March 2020

The UK Government has announced that UK schools, colleges and higher education providers will close from Friday 20 March and that exams will not be held in May and June. Given the challenging circumstances we all currently face, our focus is now on keeping everyone safe and supporting learners to achieve the qualifications they need to progress to the next stage of their lives.

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We can confirm that exams will not be held in the UK in May and June 2020. Therefore, UK students will not be permitted to sit GCSEs, A levels and International GCSEs in the UK. Instead, UK students of GCSEs, A levels and International GCSEs will receive a grade and today's announcement from the Secretary of State provides greater clarity on the approach to student assessment for those learners that were planning to sit exams this summer.

Our overwhelming priority is to support teachers and their students during this time of uncertainty. Learners in schools, colleges and higher education across the UK have put in huge amounts of work to get to this point and we intend to ensure they achieve the grades they deserve to move to the next stage.

We continue to work around the clock with the Department for Education, Ofqual and the other exam boards to define the detail of how this will work and will share information as soon as we have it.

We welcome the principles being used for the assessment and believe they will deliver fair outcomes. It’s important that professional teacher judgements are taken into account, that a wide range of evidence is used and that there will be a clear appeals process. Students that prefer to sit a paper later in the year will also have the opportunity to do so.

These are unprecedented times, so please bear with us. We are grateful for your patience and please rest assured that we will continue to post regular updates to our schools support pages as soon as we have more information to share.

My thoughts and best wishes are with you all.

Sharon Hague,
Senior Vice President, Schools

Further information and guidance

For further information on BTEC, Work-based Learning and Functional Skills, please read the questions and answers we have put together to help explain our current plans.

BTEC information and guidance

For further information and guidance, you can visit:

Ofqual updates to 2020 exams

Public Health England blog

Government guidance for educational settings

If you need to talk to us about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and the effect on your centre and learners, Exam Officers can call us on +44 (0)344 463 2535. If you are a training provider or employer, you can call us on +44 (0)344 576 0045.