⚠️ COVID-19 and examination update

Updated 10 June 2020 – please read carefully.

All sessions are currently taking place online, and this will be the case until the start of October at the earliest.

To enable you to best prepare for an online session, please visit this page to set up your systems.

⚠️ October and November exams matter ⚠️

In a briefing from Ofqual (the UK assessment regulator) yesterday, I was informed that the opportunity for students to sit exams in October and November should be treated as a fundamental part of assessment for students this year, and not a backup if the teacher assessment process fails.

This means that any student who was due to sit “high stakes” exams in 2020 should continue to prepare for these examinations.

More detail was published about these exams in government guidance issued yesterday, which was in the form of a FAQ, which is summarised below.

➡️ Who will be eligible to take exams in the autumn?

Those students who had entered for the summer series, and students who would normally be entitled to take GCSEs in English language and maths in November.

➡️ When will the autumn exam series be held?

AS and A level exams should take place in October and GCSE exams in November. The exact timing is to be confirmed, but entries will be made by the end of August.

➡️ Will students be able to sit all of their exams in the autumn?


➡️ If students are unhappy with a grade do they have to take all their exams in the autumn or can they just take exams in the subject they are unhappy with?

Students will not have to sit exams in all subjects in the autumn. They may take exams in as few subjects as they would like to. If a student wishes to take exams in a particular subject in the autumn, they will need to take all the exam papers in that subject.

➡️ Will students choosing to take an exam this autumn still be able to go to university this year?

Students may still choose to take an exam even where their university or college place has been confirmed. However, it will take time for the results of these exams to be issued, so they will need to discuss with their higher and further education institution whether to start their course as planned or to delay their entry.

➡️ When will the results of the autumn exams series be released?

Results for A level exams taken during October could be published before Christmas and results for GCSE exams taken in November could be published in February. The results for GCSE English and maths could be published in January, as usual.

➡️ If students take an exam this autumn, which will stand – the exam or centre assessment grade?

Students will be able to use the higher of the two grades for future progression.

❗️It is therefore very important to make sure that you continue to study so that you are ready to take these exams if needed‼️

If you need any help or support, please do get in touch, and we will put a personalized plan in place for you.

Previous updates

The best way to deal with coronavirus is to ensure less people get infected in the first place. The best way to do that is reduce social contact where possible.

All service workers employed by Mallard Days Educational Services (or by Richard directly) will still be paid during the virus period, whether or not they are working. This is to discourage people who are sick to work, and to reduce the likelihood of contagion.

For your information, and to add a little clarity:

I will be taking annual leave between Friday 11 September and Monday 28 September as planned.

Face-to-face sessions will not take place until Monday 28 September at the earliest: online sessions will take place up to that date (note that this could be pushed further back, but is unlikely to be brought forward).

It is highly likely that I will need to take more senior roles on the papers in October and November due to the effects of Coronavirus, meaning that it is possible that I will be involved in the marking of up to 15 different papers in a very tight window.
This is likely to necessitate adjusting the frequency / timing of your tuition sessions in the period between October and Christmas.
It may therefore be advantageous for those students preparing for exams in 2021 to book additional sessions to take place between now and October, so that you are well prepared for your mock exams in January despite this.

If you are preparing for exams in 2021, it is likely that you will need to self-study some topics, as with two terms fewer at school, there will not be sufficient time to complete your course prior to your exams. Of course, I can cover these with you, but it is important to look at them now, rather than February next year when you’ve run out of time!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via email to your usual contact address.