We recently launched a survey regarding UK and international examinations in summer 2021.
Some of the headline figures, based on responses from more than 60 schools, are as follows:
- Given the ongoing impact of Covid-19, when asked how confident they were that examinations would be able to go ahead in their country in the summer, 43% were somewhat confident and 35% were not at all confident.
- While the majority of respondents felt that exams should not go ahead, the response was by no means unanimous. 64% felt IGCSEs should not go ahead; 76% felt International A-Levels should not go ahead; 69% felt A-Levels should not go ahead; 90% felt GCSEs should not go ahead; 59% felt IB exams should not go ahead.
- 64% of respondents thought that international awarding bodies should follow the same arrangements as what is announced by Ofqual for schools in England.
The survey responses reinforce the fact that international schools are operating in a wide variety of different contexts, all with their own unique circumstances, and that there continue to be differing views about the best way forward. However, the free text responses included some common and important themes:
- Concern with fairness, parity, and a level playing field for students
- The need for awareness that international centres may be subject to changes in local circumstances or local regulations with little notice
- The need for timely decisions on plans for 2021, taking into account the diverse range of local circumstances
- The need for clear, consistent, timely communication and guidance from exam boards
We will continue to represent the concerns of our member schools to DfE, Ofqual, and examination boards, and we will share this summary with them as well.