Private Candidates and Centre Assessed GradesEditor
Tutors & Exams are pleased to announce that we have engaged with Ofqual and the Department for Education, directly, on the impact of the suggestions made to assess private candidates this summer. The question is, are Centre Assessed Grades for Private Candidates the right thing to do?
There really is no straight forward answer. There are many complex issues that need to be looked at when deciding whether Centre Assessed Grades for Private Candidates is the right approach. Only when all options have been considered can a balanced view be taken on the best and most appropriate solution. One thing is certain, whatever decision is made some people will be left feeling aggrieved.
We welcomed the invitation from Ofqual and the DfE, seeking our views on the predicament many Candidates find themselves in following exam cancellations. Clearly the assistance we were able to provide to over 500+ ‘displaced’ candidates last year hadn’t gone unnoticed! The discussions we held were very useful to all parties as we considered the challenges Private Candidates face when exams are cancelled and how best we mitigate those.
Centre Assessed Grades for Private Candidates will clearly place a strain on the parents/carers of those outside of mainstream education, particularly those where money and support is difficult to come by, if further expenditure is required to gather evidence to support a CTAG. Private Candidates fall outside of the DfEs remit, thereby cut off from the support normally found within mainstream education. Therefore, we are delighted that Ofqual and the DfE are actively seeking to find solutions for Private Candidates.
We must not forget that there are also thousands of Private Candidates that been unable to continue their studies for a host of reasons, many of which are often complex and nuanced. The pandemic has only exacerbated the problems many Private Candidates face. ‘A perfect storm’ if you will.
We must also be cognisant of the fact that many school students will have faced similar issues too. They have seen their studies continuously disrupted over the last year, couple with losing loved ones, parents businesses failing or losing their jobs. What is different is how the parents/carers/learners choose to be assessed. This throws up difficulties that none of us could have anticipated back in the good old days (way back in 2019)!
What we can say is, the DfE, Ofqual and all Awarding Bodies are actively working to provide a solution that Private Candidates can engage with to ensure they get the grades they deserve. As with everything, the solution may not be to everyone’s satisfaction. Nonetheless, there will be a solution. We have made our voice heard, ultimately it’s the decision of the DfE and the Regulator.
Tutors & Exams is working tirelessly to get you a solution to ensure that you get the grades you need to move on in your careers. Rest-assured, we understand the complexities of the system and fighting hard to ensure that the system works for as many Private Candidates as possible.
To have your say about how learners will be assessed this year, complete the consultation document the DfE and Ofqual have released: Ofqual launches consultation on 2021 exams and assessments – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)