We are aware that the current spread of Covid-19 is causing some concern to students and parents in respect of this year’s fast approaching GCSE Exams. There have been a number of media articles on this subject, some of which have alluded to potential contingency plans in the event of wide-spread disruption. As a result, worries and rumours have been circulating on social media.
Please be aware that Ofqual (The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) is liaising with all Examination Boards to draw up protocols in the event of major disruption. Examination Boards do, as a matter of course, plan annually for a degree of disruption and systems are in place to ensure that students are not disadvantaged by external events, challenging personal circumstances or serious illness.
We know that some parents are concerned that performance in Mock Exams could be used to inform GCSE outcomes. We would like to reassure you that no grades will be awarded on the basis of a student’s performance in Mock Examinations.
We expect Examination Boards to continue to liaise with schools as normal, applying common-sense principles and taking account of evidence pertaining to illness or other circumstances, where appropriate.
We understand that these are uncertain times but we assure you that we will notify parents of any changes in arrangements should we receive them. For the time being, the latest update from Ofqual is reproduced below:
Exam preparation and Ofqual advice
We recognise that students, parents, schools and colleges will be concerned about the possible impact of coronavirus on the 2020 summer exam series. Ofqual’s advice at this time is to continue to prepare for exams and other assessments as normal.
Ofqual continues to work closely with exam boards, other regulators and the Department for Education to plan for a range of scenarios, as the public would expect. Our overriding priorities are fairness to students this summer and keeping disruption to a minimum.
It is still many weeks until exams start and we will issue updated advice if necessary, giving schools and colleges as much notice as possible.