The A Level and GCSE Exams 2021

The A Level and GCSE Exams 2021

What is the Current Position with A Level and GCSE Exams in 2021 as of 7th January 2021?

Unfortunately, for the second year running and only the second time in history, A Level and GCSE Exams in 2021 have been cancelled. They even continued during the nightmare of the Second World War. CAIE (Cambridge Assessment International Education) have written a very interesting, yet harrowing account on the subject.

How exams survived the war – and came out stronger | Cambridge Assessment

This is the picture so far, as of midday today:

Ofqual Regulated Qualifications

This applies to GCSE’s, AS and A Level’s; they have been cancelled for this Summer and the candidate results will be teacher assessed grades. At present we do not know what this process will involve, although we do anticipate some changes to the process we worked to last year. There is about to be another Ofqual consultation on this released next week, with a 2 week consultation period. Once the new process has been agreed, we can advise you further on your next steps. Please can I ask you to be patient in the meantime? We don’t want to advise you now only for it to be wrong later. We will keep you up to date via social media, the website and your portal as soon as we know anything.

If you are thinking of switching from International GCSE’s to GCSE’s, please think about the evidence you may or may not have to support the grading and what else will be required to ensure you receive the grade you deserve. Again, we don’t know what evidence will be required so it may not be as straightforward as it sounds.

Pearson International GCSE’s

Pearson have announced ‘business as usual’. January International qualifications are currently running, good luck to all those candidates sitting this series. They have also announced that Summer exams will run as normal too. I think the rationale behind this decision is that primarily International GCSE’s are used by home educators and private candidates and that their learning shouldn’t have been interrupted in the same way that school children’s have. In addition to that, the UK is a fraction of the International assessments and it would be wrong to have two systems working in different countries.

Pearson Announcement

We have spoken with a lawyer who has confirmed that in law if you are travelling for exams, it falls under one of the “stay home” exemptions, so you will not be breaking the law by attending.


At the moment CAIE have not yet decided what is happening in the UK, please see their latest statement:

Statement from Cambridge International following the UK government announcement on June 2021 exams – 05 January 2021

As soon as we have any definitive information for you, we will let you know straight away.


A thought for our staff

Our staff are working incredibly hard for you throughout this pandemic. They haven’t stopped since last February!

Our staff do not know any more than the information provided here. They are working under incredibly difficult circumstances, some from home, some from work, running exams, and preparing for next week’s release of results from the extraordinary November series. They are tired, stressed and scared just as you are.

They are not the decision maker for exams to run or not run, they are only acting on the instructions of the Awarding Bodies and Ofqual.

They are putting themselves at risk to run the exams as they understand the importance of them to you and how disadvantaged you all were last year. However, that’s what they signed up for, Exams Officers all know we just get on with it.

Please be patient and kind. Be safe and do get in touch if you have any individual concerns. We will do our upmost to get you the outcomes you deserve. Contact Us

Jenny Spraggett

Group Managing Director

Tutors & Exams

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