Apologies if you’re a little overwhelmed with the amount of conversation around COVID-19/Coronavirus, however, it’s important to us that you know we have a plan in place to continue providing the same level of service you would ordinarily expect from us.
We are closely following advice from HM Government and our own offices are closed to everyone except key staff. However, all of our teams can, and are, working remotely with full access to our tools, servers and telephone systems.
A copy of an email which is going out to all of our students who have informed us of their exam place can be viewed here. This email will be sent out during the evening of the 17th/04/2020.
The Oxford Open Learning Trust has been working with Ofqual and the examination boards to ensure as many of our students as possible who want a calculated grade get one.
We have been advised that so long as one of our students had made an examination entry before the 21st of February, The Oxford Open Learning Trust will be allowed to submit a calculated grade directly to the examination board. For those students whose centres have already withdrawn them we will also be allowed to submit a calculated grade but please bear with us whilst we beat the details out with the respective examination boards. We continue to negotiate with Edexcel regarding those students who entered for International GCSE examinations after this date but prior the official examination entry close of the 21st of March
Our advice to students remains that if you want a predicted grade stay with your current examination centre. If they have withdrawn already, please inform us and we will make alternative arrangements once we know the final details.
If your exam centre is pressurising you to make a decision to withdraw in the next few days, please refer them to this web page. Advise them that the new date for free withdrawal of entries has been extended to the 12th May. A copy of the confirmation email from Edexcel can be viewedhere. The exam centre will not need to be involved in providing a grade for you, we will do that direct to the Boards and if in doubt the exam officer can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further advice.
the AQAs current position can be found here
Pearson/Edexcels latest information can be found here.
Today Ofqual has published new consultation which includes valuable insight into how Oxford Home Schooling Private candidates might receive their calculated grades. The full consultation can be found here. The most relevant pages are in the Impact to student section on pages 23 to 26.
The Oxford Open Learning Trust is actively liaising with the examination boards to work out how this might apply in practice.
As guidance from the exam board develops, so will Oxford Home Schooling’s plans. At present, from the very brief information we have been given, It is clear that there will be a process that Oxford Home Schooling will need to go through. This will almost certainly include an internal moderation step. At present no tutor is in a position to offer any individual student a predicted grade.
Some centres are putting pressure on students to make a choice between going down the predicted grade route and entering for a later examination. We don’t yet know what the predicted grade route will look like but for those students who have worked consistently through their study period, submitted most of their assignments and had regular tutor contact we will be able to provide information to satisfy the Exam Board that a grade can safely be awarded.
If we do not have this verifiable evidence of achievement; for example, if you have not done the majority of your TMAs for whatever reason, if you have rarely had contact with your tutor or if you send us all your TMAs at once tomorrow, or in the next few days, we will be unlikely to be able to give you a grade which the Board or you yourself will be happy with. In this case, we suggest that your best option is either to withdraw from the exam altogether and get a refund of your entry fee or you should advise your centre that you want to sit in the alternative exam series which will probably be in the Autumn.
We hope to have more information next week and advise all students to hold off making a decision until we can see the whole picture. The exam boards allow students to withdraw from exams and get a refund of entry fees until the 21st of April.
The Dfe has produced a set of frequently asked questions about the cancellation of exams which can be found here
This – like the coronavirus itself – is an unprecedented situation for all of us. But our commitment to helping young people realise their potential hasn’t changed, and never will.”