Qualifications and Exam Information

Ofqual’s student guide to awarding: summer 2021

Ofqual’s student guide to awarding: summer 2021

Ofqual have now published their new student guide to awarding: summer 2021. This guide offers support for students taking GCSEs, A levels, vocational and technical qualifications this year. It is written for students and complements the materials that have already been published for teachers. It also contains important advice on where students and their families can go for more information and support, including support for those with mental health concerns.


If your child decides they want to take GCSEs then you should make your preparations as early as possible.

It is sensible to start planning when your child is 14+ (Year 9). CSW (formerly known as Careers South West) will give you advice about the qualifications he / she needs for any chosen career. Customer Free phone: 0800 9755111

You will need to find out where your child can sit the examinations. This must be an accredited centre. Contact your local school or FE College to see if it will accept external candidates. (The EHE Service is also able to provide a list of Devon schools and centres that have indicated that they will accept external candidates.

You may have to use the same syllabus/exam board as the school/college and for this reason it is important that you contact school(s) very early in Year 10 (or even Year 9) to find out what subjects/syllabus is being followed. Entries should be made by January in Year 11 at the latest, but earlier discussion is advised.

Parents should be aware that schools are unable to support home educated students with coursework requirements. If a particular syllabus requires coursework elements to be marked and/or moderated this remains the responsibility of the student’s parent(s)/carer(s), through the use of a qualified assessor (possibly a suitably qualified home tutor.) The school will not take any responsibility for ensuring that coursework requirements are met before the examination is taken.

Entering, administering and invigilating external examinations are costly processes. Costs must be met by home educators and it will be important to agree with the school what these costs are, and that they will be paid prior to entry being made. Schools will provide details of when fees must be paid.

Examination boards

All examination boards offer examinations for external candidates. When you contact them you need to tell them this is the information you need. You also need to tell them when (in which year) your child is going to sit their GCSEs. Parents/carers should contact the individual examination boards about the most appropriate syllabus to follow.

The contact details for the exam boards in England are:

Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA)

Stage Hill House Guildford Surrey GU2 7XJ Tel: 0800 197 7162 Email: eos@aqa.org www.aqa.org.uk

Pearsons One90 High Holborn London WC1V 7BH Learner help desk Tel: 0845 6180440 Email: students@pearson.com https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/home.html

OCR 1 Hills Road Cambridge CB1 2EU Tel: 01223 553 998 Email: general.qualifications@ocr.org.uk www.ocr.org.uk

Please note: Local examination centres have sole discretion over whether or not they are prepared to accept entries. The responsibility for liaising with the centre is entirely that of the parent.

Post 16 Options

The choices available to your child after the age of 16 are as follows:

Continue with home education

 Return to a school with a sixth form if there is one in your area. You need to contact the school/college as early as possible and make an appointment to see the Headteacher. Schools offer a range of courses including Advanced, A/S level and Vocational courses. Your child may also be able to take GCSEs.

College of Further Education. When your child is 15+ (Year 10) send for a prospectus (or access one online) from your local FE College and check through the qualifications they may need and the courses on offer. Applications need to be in by January of Year 11 but in the autumn term it may be advisable to contact the Admissions Tutor at the college and make an appointment with a Head of Department or Principal to talk about EHE and your child’s achievements. You may need to take examples of work done. Many FE Colleges run Open Days during the year which you may wish to attend.

Work based training/modern apprenticeships. This is an excellent route if your child wishes to start work and to gain some work-based qualifications. Contact CSW early in Year 11 since applications for work-based training are usually completed via them. You, with the help of CSW, or on your own, will have to find an appropriate work placement with an employer prepared to take on a trainee. Further information about post-16 options can be found at: www.devon.gov.uk/1419excellencethroughpartnership


Devon Exam Centres

A list of centres willing to accept external candidates - Nov 2020

3A Tutors Ltd

An exam centre in Bristol wiling to accept external candidates for a wide range of GCSE subjects

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