A Word on Summer Exams 2021 for Private CandidatesAmy Russo
We have finally come to the end of Summer Exams 2021! We can’t say that we’re sad to leave them behind. However, we are super proud to have, once again, graded an incredible number of Private Candidates this year to ensure that they continue with their future careers.
We want to thank all of the Private Candidates and their parents, carers and families for the patience they have shown during this time. We have to appreciate that the Department for Education, Ofqual and the Awarding Organisations have had a mammoth task, once again, to ensure that processes were allowed to grade as many Private Candidates as possible. All of these took time, and we’re almost out the other end now. We won’t name names, however, we have formed fantastic relationships with the DfE and continue our strong associations with the Awarding Organisations.
We are over the moon with our vast partner network for stepping up to the plate once again. Many of our partners have worked with us for years and followed the advice and guidance we produced from the beginning. We have also developed partnerships with dozens of new learning providers that were able to get on board quickly and work their magic. Without our partner’s support and integrity, many thousands of Private Candidates would not have been able to achieve a grade. We will continue to forge ahead with our partnership programme and offer many more solutions with them in the future.
Tutors, assessors and moderators were recruited in their hundreds. We put in place a network of over 900 professionals in less than four weeks! This was one amazing achievement. Our NEA team went over and above to ensure that each one of them met our high standards. The team enabled candidates with no evidence from other sources to engage with a professional to develop and bring together evidence enabling grading to occur.
Our centres and Special Educational Needs Team have worked relentlessly over this Summer supporting candidates in the most professional way. Without their expertise and unwavering patience the whole process would never have been possible. They have been the backbone of the whole process and ensured that every email, phone call and social media message has been responded to. They are all now caught up with their holidays and taken some well-deserved R&R. Although everyone is now dreaming of grades, phones ringing and the Microsoft Teams Call Chime! The numbers have been crazy, and we managed not to break anyone!
Our management team have also been outstanding. Providing solutions to complex problems at the drop of a hat. No problem too big. The ideas and solutions have cemented our position as the Leading Independent Assessment Centre across the World!
Why the World? Not only have we graded thousands of private candidates here in the UK, we’ve also graded hundreds across the globe. And whilst all that was going on, we opened our first Tutors & Exams International Centre in South Africa (as well as Doncaster and St Neots).
In a nutshell, we are glad to see the back of TAGs, CAG’s or whatever else we’re going to call them. Although, we are not sorry to see the back of all of the supportive messages, new relationships, and stronger partnerships we have forged and maintained.
What does the future hold? Who knows. What we are certain of is that all stakeholders are keen to get back to some form of normality. The DfE, Ofqual, Awarding Organisations and relevant stakeholders are working tirelessly to ensure exams return for Summer 2022. We have already begun discussions and have regular meetings to look at options and the impact of decisions.
Will exams get cancelled again? There’s always a possibility. The chances are reducing. What we do ask is that you follow our guidance and engage with our mocks service and learning partners to ensure we have everything in place to grade Private Candidates with the least amount of disruption. Just get in touch with us to discuss your options.
Thank you all for your continued support!
Jenny & Chris Spraggett