Happy New Year Private Candidates!

Happy New Year Private Candidates!

Dear friends, learners, colleagues and partners,

Happy New Year!

We trust you all had a wonderful festive period and didn’t overdo it! Here at T&E HQ it’s been non-stop, although all of our staff have managed to take some time off to re-charge the batteries for what is likely to be an interesting 2022 exam year. We are, as ever, optimistic even more so as we welcome our new centres to the fold: Taunton, High Wycombe and Belfast. With eight exam centres nationwide, 65% of the UK population is now within a 30 mile radius of one of our centres, each providing access to quality assessments to all private candidates outside of mainstream education seeking an exam centre.

In addition to our exam centres, we now have five Science laboratory facilities across England to support learners with their A Level Practical Endorsements, providing you with opportunity to undertake in the A Level CPAC (Common Practical Assessment Criteria).

We have our all year round Birmingham Science Facility (available for block or flexible bookings) based in the heart of England.

Two amazing facilities now cover the South East, South Bank UTC and Harrow School. Both facilities are available during school holidays and can also be block booked.

The North-West is now serviced by our newly created relationship with Bolton School. This centre is ideal for candidates located in and around the Liverpool and Manchester area wishing to progress with their Science A Level CPAC.

Finally, the North-East/East Midlands is now covered by our newly formed partnership with Mercia School in Sheffield. Just a short journey from the East and North-East of the country to give you the flexibility you need to access a JCQ approved A Level Science CPAC facility.

To find out more about our locations, just click here.

Private Candidate Exam Centres

We are currently working on several projects with leading stakeholders in the exam world. Our vision is to ensure that every private candidate has access to a quality assessment venue across the world and as a result have established Tutors & Exams South Africa and Tutors & Exams International. More information on these two exciting developments later next year.

Presently, we are gearing up in readiness for the Summer 2022 exam season with entries already being made by candidates.  As we prepare for Summer exams we are also conducting Pearson Edexcel International GCSE exams throughout January.

On the topic of Summer 2022 exams; there are a few issues we know will be of concern to many of you. Firstly, “what if exams get cancelled?”. Well, the English government is assuring everybody that exams will go ahead as planned, and this remains their preferred option. However, details on the ‘Decisions on contingency arrangements 2022: GCSE, AS, A Level, Project and AEA’ have been released. This is in addition to an open letter from Ofqual to Private Candidates. Whilst this open letter is welcome it is light on the precise arrangements that will apply to Private Candidates in the event exams are cancelled. Consequently we have approached the DfE seeking greater clarity and will update you as soon as we have further guidance.

More details on Guidance on Contingency Arrangements can be found in the link. But, for now, we ask you all to continue with learning, study, revision and teaching as if exams are proceeding as planned. We are more than happy to provide mock exams for learners throughout their study, please Contact Us through your normal channels if you would like to discuss options.

Tutors & Exams are well placed to serve the Private Candidate community should exams be cancelled. We have led the way over the last two years working with the DfE, Ofqual, The JCQ, Awarding Organisations and key stakeholders. Our processes are robust and have been accepted and endorsed throughout the pandemic. We will ensure that we adapt where necessary and continue to safeguard Private Candidates assessments regardless of the government decisions. Please bear in mind that the announcements referred to are for English Ofqual Accredited Qualifications only. They do not include Pearson and Cambridge International A Levels and International GCSE. We will keep you informed on their decisions as and when they are announced.

We are keeping our centres safe ready for exams going ahead. Our teams are regularly taking Lateral Flow Tests and working from home where regulations allow. We continue to sanitise our offices and exam areas regularly. All of our staff are 100% up to date with their vaccines and boosters. We do ask that if you are visiting our centres you follow our advice and notices as well as government advice and legislation. We do ask that you wear a facemask in the public areas of our buildings up to the point of sitting at a desk. Maintain social distancing where possible. Regularly clean your hands. Please take a Lateral Flow Test prior to every visit. Your safety is as important as the safety of our staff and everyone around us. Please be patient and understanding.

So, 2021 has gone! 2022 what can we do? We want to hear how we can improve, change, make life easier or hear about the good things we do. We want to know how we can present information more clearly to you. If you want to give us your feedback or work with us on improving things, then please get in touch by emailing feedback@tutorsandexams.uk.

2022 will be a significant year for everyone at Tutors & Exams. We hope that you will be with us on the journey, and we can be part of yours.

Wishing you all every success (whatever shape that may be in) for the future.

Chris Spraggett

Group CEO

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