Update from Pearson regarding the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak
During these extraordinary times, many teachers, learners and families have been feeling uncertain and anxious about the closure of schools and the cancellation of exams this summer. We know this has been extremely unsettling, and it remains our overwhelming priority to support you throughout this unprecedented situation.
Since the Secretary of State announced that exams would not take place this summer we have been working around the clock with the Department for Education, Ofqual and the other exam boards to define the detail of how assessment will work.
On 3 April, Ofqual has announced further information about how GCSEs, AS and A levels will be awarded this summer.
For this summer’s awards, schools and colleges are being asked to provide centre assessment grades for their students. These should be fair, objective and carefully considered judgements of the grades schools and colleges believe their students would have been most likely to achieve if they had sat their exams, and should take into account the full range of available evidence.
This unprecedented situation calls for an unprecedented approach. We welcome this decision and believe it is the best way to deliver fair results at this challenging time. 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 for certain qualifications later in the year will also have the opportunity to do so.
We also know, however, this update will prompt many questions. To help with this, Ofqual has a comprehensive series of questions and answers that represent the agreed procedures and arrangements to-date.
In the meantime, if you would like to speak to us directly, you can submit questions through our contact form or by calling +44 (0)344 463 2535.
This update applies to GCSE, AS and A levels, Extended Project Qualifications (EPQ) and Advanced Extension Awards (AEA) in maths. As in previous years, we will award grades to international students guided by the principles set out by Ofqual. International students can find more information here.
Following close discussions with the Department for Education, awarding bodies and other stakeholders, Ofqual has also now announced further information about how vocational and technical qualifications will be awarded in 2020. You can find more information here.
Thank you for your ongoing patience and support. We continue to work as quickly as possible and aim to provide you with further information after Easter.
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.
My thoughts and best wishes are with you all.
President, Pearson UK & Global Online Learning