BTEC learner update on examinations going ahead - 5 Jan 2021

5 January 2021

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement of a new lockdown and the news that schools and colleges will close to the majority of learners, we have been working with the Department for Education (DfE) to understand what this means for BTEC exams scheduled for January. Our aim has been to bring you the clarity we know you need and deserve, as soon as possible.

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The DfE confirmed on January 4th that they expected scheduled vocational exams to go ahead and it has updated that guidance today (January 5th) to give schools and colleges the choice to offer students vocational exams, should schools and colleges judge it right to do so. The full DfE guidance is available here.

We want to ensure that you and all those working in schools and colleges are supported by us regardless of the choice that is made by your school or college on whether exams take place.  Where a college or school decides to offer exams, you will be able to sit your external assessments as planned and if your school or college decides not to offer vocational exams, we have agreed the following with Ofqual and the DfE to ensure that no learner is disadvantaged.

  • We will award a grade for any learner who is unable to take their exams and has enough evidence to receive a certificate that they need for progression. 
  • Learners unable to take their assessment this January may be able to take their assessment at a later date. If that is not possible, we will put in place arrangements to ensure you are not disadvantaged. 

We are working closely with the DfE and Ofqual on all of this and we will share more detail with you in the coming days.

We appreciate this must be a very difficult time for you. We hope that this update provides you with some clarity and reassurance that you will not be disadvantaged whichever decision is made by your school or college regarding exams. Please contact your school or college to find out what decision they have made regarding exams this January.

We will update you with further information soon. 

Thank you for your continued patience during these unprecedented times. 

Best wishes,  

Cindy Rampersaud 
Senior Vice President  
BTEC and Apprenticeships 

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