Let’s Talk Summer 2022 Exams after Summer 2021!Amy Russo
Summer 2022 Exams? The Summer 2021 ‘Exams’ are not quite at their conclusion yet. However, we’re getting ever closer. The Summer 2021 Exam season has been somewhat challenging to say the least. Long delays, process writing, quality processes, Awarding Body Approvals to name but a few.
But, our learners have all been amazing throughout! We want to thank every candidate that has been through the whole process for Summer 2021 from the bottom of our hearts. We appreciate that it has been a massive ordeal for many candidates, whilst trying to manage personal tragedy, job insecurities, exam uncertainty and much, much more. We genuinely thank you for your patience throughout.
This has all gone on whilst our own team have had to endure their own personal tragedies and challenges in a “new normal”. We are so proud of how all our staff have coped with this long season and pandemic. Not forgetting that Summer 2021 all began back in January. Over six months (seven when we finally get results) to put the actual time frame on it, the Summer 2021 Exam Season seems to have gone on forever. This is whilst we were all still just getting over Summer 2020.
However, let’s draw on some positives for a moment. The Department for Education (DfE) and Ofqual (the exam regulator) saw private candidates in a new light and engaged much earlier on. This enabled key stakeholders, which Tutors & Exams were proud to be part of, to be involved from the beginning and influence decisions. The DfE and Ofqual contributed towards the grading of private candidates during the Summer 2021 exams, which, to say the least, was unprecedented. This should now pave the way for Private Candidates in the UK to be recognised with the same level of importance as mainstream candidates. This is something that we have been working on with the Awarding Bodies now for several years.
We have continued to listen to our candidates throughout the pandemic. Candidates wanted up to date information, which we provided. Additional venues (which I will go on to shortly) and look at our fees.
The information we provided throughout the Summer 2021 Exams has been the most up to date. However, that posed many challenges in itself. News was changing almost as quick as we were publishing it. One day International Exams would continue as normal, the next day they were off. We will be reviewing our news channels over the remaining of this year to ensure we keep you up to date whilst not overwhelming.
We have opened Doncaster, St Neots and announced Taunton centres during the pandemic too. This has been an amazing effort on the part of the JCQ Inspection service, our team and the candidates that entered with us. It goes a long way to ensuring that all private candidates have a trusted venue that they can have confidence in themselves. We have worked with a number of other exam centres over the last few years to ensure the highest level of coverage is available. We will be continuing to open more centres over the next few years and would welcome conversations with all stakeholders (home educator groups, private candidate groups and learning providers) to ensure we do this deferentially.
In addition to the centres in England, we have also managed to expand and open Tutors & Exams International with the first centre in Centurion South Africa. Again, this was a huge effort by the team at EqiTraining (part of EqiGate) and the team at Pearson Africa.
With regards to our fees; this always throws up a lot of different reactions. I do hope that I can quickly explain that our fees are carefully considered every year. During the 2020/21 academic year, we froze our exam fees despite a significant rise by the exam boards. However, we are the first independent assessment centre in the country to ensure that there are no additional fees in place for learners with additional needs. This is a massive step forward for candidates outside of mainstream education.
So, putting 2020/21 to bed; we’ll leave you with the dates when the results are to be released to candidates:
GCSE and International GCSE (All Subjects) Results Day – 12/08/2021 from 08:30am
This then brings us onto Summer 2022 Exams. What does the future hold? Well, we’re not quite sure yet. However, we are sure that the DfE, Ofqual and the Awarding bodies are very keen for exams to go ahead as normal. There’s lots of conversations around the content of Summer 2022 exams, to the point where the DfE and Ofqual have launched a joint consultation. Don’t forget to have your say. There’s nothing to say that exams won’t be cancelled. We’re confident that everything will be done to ensure they will go ahead.
Rest assured, whatever happens to Summer 2022 exams, or any exam in the future, the team at Tutors & Exams will be with you every step of the way. We’re always looking at new ways to do things and new products to offer. If you are a learning provider looking to offer something different, come and talk to us.