22 Jan 2021
Today’s update shares more information about making entries and withdrawals, and an update on the UK government’s decision on holding exams in England in June 2021.
We also have a reminder about applications for Covid-19 exemptions. As always, we are very grateful for the questions and suggestions you have been sharing with us. Please do continue to contact us wherever you have questions.
Update on the UK government’s decision on holding exams in England in June 2021
The UK government has proposed that schools in England use teacher judgement instead of exams in June 2021, and Ofqual is now consulting on that proposal. As a result, we are receiving questions from schools, students and parents about fairness and comparisons with the grades we will award to students for equivalent international qualifications. We’re also hearing their concerns about exams going ahead and about exams not going ahead.
In this situation, our aim continues to be to align the standard of Cambridge IGCSE, Cambridge O Level and Cambridge International AS & A Level to that of equivalent qualifications for schools in England.
We are looking at how best to do this for students taking Cambridge qualifications in 160 different countries worldwide, including England. We are monitoring very carefully proposals from the Department for Education and Ofqual about alternative arrangements for awarding results for the June 2021 series in England. After the Ofqual consultation closes at the end of January, we will give more details if necessary about how we respond.
In the meantime, we will continue to keep schools and students updated, and continue to plan to offer exams for our June 2021 series where it is safe and permitted to do so. We know students are working hard on their studies and we encourage them to keep doing so. We are engaging with our community of schools in many different countries. You can also share your feedback with us via email
Entries and withdrawals for June 2021
Schools can make first-time entries and amendments, and request access arrangements for the June 2021 series until 21 February. After 21 February, changes you make to your entry options are charged, but you can still amend your candidate information, without charge, until the late entries deadline on 17 April. See section 2.4 of the Cambridge Handbook for our full entry regulations.
We understand that you may need to withdraw candidates for Covid-specific reasons and, to support you, we have extended our withdrawal deadline until 17 April. We recommend that you keep your entries on Direct until as close to 17 April as possible, to reduce the administration work you may need to do if you withdraw candidates early and then re-enter them. Until 17 April you can withdraw candidates on Direct and still receive a credit.
If candidates have to miss every component of a syllabus for a Covid-specific or medical reasons, then you can still withdraw them up to seven days after the last timetabled exam in the syllabus has taken place and you will receive a credit. Email us to let us know. This also applies for our March 2021 exams.
How will this affect invoicing? We generate invoices weekly. We recommend you pay for the entries you know you have made within normal payment terms and the credit will follow.
Covid-19 exemptions - reminder
This is to remind you that schools can now apply for Covid-19 exemptions. The application form has been live on Direct since 15 January.
We will confirm whether applications have been accepted as quickly as possible and hopefully within seven working days of the application. We will ask you to confirm which of your candidates you would like to be exempted from which approved component(s) after the application deadline.
To support schools in completing the Covid-19 exemptions application form, we have produced a video that talks through each part of the form.
You can also view the full list of Covid-19 exemptions
We would like to thank schools again for submitting feedback on the assessed components that we are making eligible for exemptions. As mentioned last week, we have published our response to your feedback on our website: https://www.cambridgeinternational.org/Images/606882-covid-19-exemptions-our-response-to-your-feedback-about-eligible-components.pdf
Staying in touch
You can find all our advice on our Covid-19 information page
If you have any questions, please review our frequently asked questions, or contact us via our Help website.
We wish everyone in the Cambridge International community well at this time.