Autumn assessment

Students entered for the summer series will have the option of entering for autumn series exams in October (A Level) and November (GCSE) and if they achieve a higher grade this will have the status of a final grade. Where the entry was in a previous institution, students will need to be entered there, except for those who are in scope for the condition of funding (ie: have not achieved a grade 4) who wish to enter GCSE English or maths in November. This will take place in their college as usual, although given the disruption students faced this year, colleges may choose to advise many students to wait until summer 2021.

Students should be advised to carefully consider whether the additional work involved in preparing for an exam in October or November will detract from their current studies, which may include catch-up activity and if they do, it may be wise to limit this to one subject entry. For students who have successfully progressed, their time would generally be better spent on work related to their current programme. Where students do enter autumn exams, whether at their current or previous institution, colleges should give permission for them to attend without any sanction for absence but there is no requirement to provide additional tuition or study leave for this.

It seems unlikely that many students who have progressed to university will be wanting to take autumn series exams. It is also unlikely that there will be additional Spring-start degree course options available in 2021.

Vocational and technical qualifications often have more assessment windows. Ofqual requires awarding organisations to offer these as usual and to consider offering additional assessment opportunities where they don’t already exist if reasonable to do so. The Ofqual explainer tool will be updated from 7 August to outline the next assessment opportunity for each vocational technical qualification.