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Andrey Prikazchikov

Pearson have announced an update related to their May/June 2021 international exam series.

This announcement was circulated to international centres at approximately 13:30 GMT yesterday. Details are also published on their website here.

Pearson have confirmed three important updates:

  • They will use a robust approach based on teacher assessment for International GCSE and International AS/A Level assessment in May/June 2021 and exams will not go ahead as planned.
  • They will offer an additional exam series for International GCSE later this year.
  • The International AS/A Level October exam series will go ahead as planned.

Pearson communicated to COBIS that this has been a difficult decision for them to make and that they valued greatly the feedback from our member schools during our webinar on 25 January. In addition Pearson highlighted that its priorities throughout this pandemic have been to keep everyone safe and well and to ensure fairness so that every student receives a grade that reflects their knowledge and understanding.

Pearson added that they will now proceed by providing schools with all the detailed support, guidance and advice to ensure that all those international students in examination years this year are able to receive a fair grade. Pearson colleagues are on hand to answer any direct questions.

COBIS Response to the DfE and Ofqual Consultation on GCSE, AS and A-Level Examinations in the Summer of 2021

Representing our members, we welcomed the invitation to respond to the consultation on awarding exam grades this summer. In addition to responding to the online consultation, we also submitted a brief supplementary paper to highlight additional key points, which can be viewed here.

Ofqual have responded directly to confirm that these points will be considered as part of the formal consultation and to thank us for our detailed submission.

Latest DFE/Ofqual Consultation Update

The latest consultation update and a proposal for externally-set papers from Simon Lebus, Interim Chief Regulator, Ofqual was published on 29 January. The DFE/Ofqual consultation has received over 103,000 responses across the consultations on GCSE, AS and A levels and on vocational and technical qualifications. Ofqual have confirmed that they plan to publish details of ‘next steps’ during the week commencing 22 February 2021.