Exams

Legal references on this page apply to England.

We recommend that the Government place a duty on every local authority to ensure access to local centres for home-educated young people to sit accredited public examinations. (Paragraph 43) Education Committee Report Support Home Education

Sir Michael Wilshaw, Ofsted: When we inspect local authorities we will be asking are local authorities supporting children at home and funding access to qualifications and examinations

Suggested Exams FAQ For Local Authorities   Exams Report   exam hall

Home educated young people take exams as private candidates which involves selecting an exam board with suitable courses and finding an exam centre. State schools don't generally let young people who aren't registered pupils go in to sit exams. Home educators must either find a centre which will deal with controlled assessment for GCSEs (virtually impossible) or find a centre to sit IGCSEs.

DfE explains how external candidates results don't affect schools November 29th 2013

science lab Pembrokeshire College

Some home educating families find that it is not necessary to take as many exams as children do in school and there may be flexibility or non-standard entry where colleges understand more about the applicant's background. Home educators also tend to begin exams earlier and take one year courses rather than two. In some cases it's been possible for home educated young people to sit exams as external candidates in private schools. Home educating families tend progress through the course material by self-study working through recommended textbooks. Families can also set up their own tutor groups.

The reason why home educators tend to use centres which are already up and running rather than setting up their own registered exam centre are to do with the rules for becoming an exam centre which can be found in Appendix B here http://www.jcq.org.uk/Download/exams-office/general-regulations/general-regulations-for-approved-centres-2013-2014


http://online.pembrokeshire.ac.uk/home-ed.html Online A Levels + Science Practicals with Pembrokeshire College. The home educators' exams wiki which is a fantastic resource for all private candidates http://www.home-education-exams.org.uk

Ofqual new assessment arrangements GCSE, A level and AS published April 9th 2014

New GCSEs will be assessed mainly by exams and will only be tiered where one set of assessments won't work across the full ability range. New GCSEs will also be graded 9 to 1. Geography will be untiered, and will be assessed by exam only with some questions assessing the knowledge and skills students learn from fieldwork. History will be untiered and assessed entirely by exam. Science GCSEs will be tiered with compulsory practical work, for which students will receive a "pass" or "fail" separate from the grade for the written exams.

November sittings will be limited to English language and maths. Ofqual is keeping the impact of the policy on disabled students under review. New GCSE qualifications will be taught: From 2015 – English language, English literature and maths; From 2016 – geography, history, biology, chemistry, physics and double award science, modern foreign languages and ancient languages, religious studies, design and technology, art and design, drama, dance, music, physical education, computer science, citizenship studies; From 2017 – remaining subjects for which new GCSEs are developed Reference

Students will be able to take new A levels without also taking an AS in the subject. AS qualifications and A levels will be assessed at the end of the course. Except for art and design, all AS subjects listed for first teaching in 2015 will be exam only. Students will carry out practical work for science A Levels. They will get a ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ grade for this practical work, which will be separate from their grade for the written exam.

There will not be any non-exam assessment for AS qualificationsin English (English language, English literature, and English language and literature). Changes will apply as follows: from 2015 – English language, English literature, English language and literature, biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, art and design, business studies, computing, economics, history, sociology. From 2016 – Mathematics, further mathematics, modern foreign languages (MFL), ancient languages and geography, religious studies; design and technology; drama; dance; music and physical education.From 2017 – all other subjects. Reference

JCQ Rules for Becoming an Exam Centre   Survey of Local Authorities Help Finding Exam Centre   Home Educators Experience of Finding Exam Centre   Wiki Page with home educators' recommendations for schools accepting private candidates (link updated August 2012)   AQA web page for private candidates   List of exam centres used by AQA private candidates in the past   Edexcel Private Candidates FAQ   Edexcel Private Candidate Centres   Exams Wiki Frequently Asked Questions: How To Get Started   QCDA guidance to exam centres about private candidates   AQA Supplementary Guidance for Private Candidates   Past Papers and Mark Schemes AQA   Past Papers and Mark Schemes Edexcel  June 2013 Edexcel Past Papers and Mark Scheme  Xtremepapers past papers + revision forum   Home Education English Literature/Language Distance Learning   Home Education Science Distance Learning   Home education tutor, Home Counties   Covers ID, Subject code, cash-in code, unit code, component code, specification, syllabus number, tier, candidate number, centre number, statement of entry, Unique Candidate Identifier (UCI), Unique Learner Number (ULN)   Eddis Tutorial Guide for Private Candidates   Eddis Tutorial FAQ Exams Private Candidates   Eddis Tutorial Private Candidate Exam Centres UK   Exams Jargon Explained   http://homeedpartners.co.uk/   http://www.studentforums.biz/   http://online.pembrokeshire.ac.uk/faq.html   https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/skills-funding-statement-2012-2015   http://www.edexcel.com/Aboutus/press-room/press-releases/Pages/ViewItem.aspx?filter=2633 Edexcel qualifications now to be known as Pearson Edexcel: announcement April 2013   http://education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/qualifications/examsadmin/news Exams Officers News from DfE   http://www.examofficers.org.uk/jargon-buster   Northstar CIE IGCSE Exam Centre   Anki revision technique using active recall testing and spaced repetition  Student Room Discussion A Levels as Private Candidate   Exams Wiki Taking A Levels as Private Candidate   http://www.aqa.org.uk/news-and-policy/policy/changes-to-gcses/modular-to-linear   DfE exams timetable search by code or subject, print results and export as data file for spreadsheet.
EDSU to be phased out DfE announcement December 2013
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/learning-records-service-personal-learning-record Personal Learning Record

IGCSEs

A growing number of home educating families opt to take IGCSEs because of the difficulties of arranging approved supervision for controlled assessments in GCSEs. International GCSEs or IGCSEs are predominantly exam-based ie the candidate is not required to submit coursework as part of the overall mark scheme. The main exam boards or awarding bodies for IGCSEs are CIEand Edexcel. More exam centres are registered with Edexcel though this does not necessarily mean that the centre will accept private candidates for IGCSEs. Some private schools and maintained schools also prefer IGCSEs as can be seen in this Guardian article, October 2012.

Controlled Assessment

Private candidates need to find a registered centre that will:

  1. accept them for all elements of Controlled Assessment Task Taking and Task Marking, including preparation and analysis prior to the Task Taking
  2. undertake authentication of Controlled Assessment Tasks
  3. keep their work securely between sessions
  4. undertake the assessment of any Controlled Assessment Tasks.

Read more here


College Fees Can Be Funded When Home Educated Children are Under 16

From September 2013, colleges can admit 14-16s directly Where individual home educated learners below the age of 16 begin a college course in September 2013 the college will be able to claim the course fees directly from the Government, irrespective of whether the college signs up to the whole new 14-16s direct admission scheme this year.

Additional needs/access arrangements

For more detailed information about special arrangements in exam centres, click here http://ehe-sen.org.uk/exams.php and here http://www.jcq.org.uk/exams-office/access-arrangements-and-special-consideration


Big Changes to GCSEs and A Levels

Ofqual consultation on new-style GCSEs asking for views on criterion referencing, norm referencing versus continuation current approach. Respond by June 2014.

GCSE overhaul in England made final by Ofqual November 1st 2013. See also http://ofqual.gov.uk/news/design-details-of-new-gcses-in-england/ (November 2013) The changes will be in stages, starting with the GCSE exams sitting in 2017. English and maths will be the first subjects affected. 20 other GCSE subjects will be revamped in the same way with the first exams for those taken in 2018. Exams will be graded from one to nine, with nine being the highest and fail being a U" for an "unclassified" result. Exams will be taken at the end of the course, rather than in modules throughout the course. Click here for Michael Gove announcement November 1st 2013.



Speaking and Listening Component

Speaking and listening assessments will not towards final grades in GCSE English and English language for awards made from Summer 2014. http://ofqual.gov.uk/news/changes-to-gcse-english-and-english-language/

Open University for Under-18s

Some home educated young people under the age of 18 take courses with the Open University and obtain sufficient credits either to continue with a full OU degree or to apply to a bricks and mortar university. Funding has changed in England. More information here
Tamsyn Fortune Wood: OU as route to Birmingham City University
Home Education Exams Wiki: experiences of Open University
Open University Policy Under 18s
OU Fees to Rise
Alex Dowty: OU as route to Oxford

Link Reference

This article is http://edyourself.org/articles/exams.php. The following links to other websites are contained in the article, displayed as citations to aid you in printing the document.

  1. Education Committee Report Support Home Education http://edyourself.org/articles/edcomsupporthomeed.php
  2. Sir Michael Wilshaw, Ofsted http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/Education/EdC130213CORRECTEDTRANSCRIPT.doc
  3. Special Needs Access Arrangements http://edyourself.org/articles/allpartygrouphomeeducation.php
  4. Suggested Exams FAQ For Local Authorities http://edyourself.org/articles/examsfaq.php
  5. Exams Report http://edyourself.org/articles/examsreport.php
  6. DfE explains how external candidates results don't affect schools http://edyourself.org/articles/privatecandidates.php
  7. http://www.jcq.org.uk/Download/exams-office/general-regulations/general-regulations-for-approved-centres-2013-2014 http://www.jcq.org.uk/exams-office/general-regulations
  8. http://www.home-education-exams.org.uk http://online.pembrokeshire.ac.uk/home-ed.html
  9. Home educators' Exams Yahoo Group http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/HE-Exams-GCSE-A_AS_Levels-OU-Others/info
  10. Home Educators Exams Wiki http://www.home-education-exams.org.uk
  11. http://edyourself.org/councilexamsupport.pdf
  12. Ofqual new assessment arrangements GCSE, A level and AS http://ofqual.gov.uk/news/gcse-a-level-as-qualification-updates-ofqual/
  13. graded 9 to 1 http://policyblog.aqa.org.uk/2014/04/08/grading-reformed-gcses/
  14. Reference http://ofqual.gov.uk/documents/update-reforms-made-gcses/
  15. Reference http://ofqual.gov.uk/documents/update-reforms-made-qualifications-levels/
  16. JCQ Rules for Becoming an Exam Centre http://www.jcq.org.uk/exams-office/general-regulations
  17. Wiki Page with home educators' recommendations for schools accepting private candidates http://www.nwilts-he.org.uk/he_exams_wiki/index.php/Finding_an_exam_centre
  18. AQA web page for private candidates http://www.aqa.org.uk/student-support/private-candidates
  19. List of exam centres used by AQA private candidates in the past http://www.aqa.org.uk/student-support/private-candidates/finding-a-school-or-college
  20. Edexcel Private Candidates FAQ http://www.edexcel.com/i-am-a/student/private-candidates/faqs/Pages/default.aspx
  21. Edexcel Private Candidate Centres http://www.edexcel.com/i-am-a/student/find-a-centre/Pages/Where-can-I-take-edexcel-exams.aspx
  22. Exams Wiki Frequently Asked Questions: How To Get Started http://www.nwilts-he.org.uk/he_exams_wiki/index.php/FAQs_about_taking_exams_as_an_EHEer
  23. AQA Supplementary Guidance for Private Candidates http://store.aqa.org.uk/admin/library/AQA-PRIVCAND-GUIDE.PDF
  24. Past Papers and Mark Schemes AQA http://www.aqa.org.uk/exams-administration/exams-guidance/find-past-papers-and-mark-schemes
  25. Xtremepapers past papers + revision forum http://www.edexcel.com/i-am-a/student/Pages/pastpapers.aspx
  26. Home Education English Literature/Language Distance Learning http://www.catherinemooneytutoring.co.uk/
  27. Home Education Science Distance Learning http://www.sammartell.co.uk/
  28. Home education tutor, Home Counties http://dorothymurphy.webnode.com/about-me/
  29. Eddis Tutorial Guide for Private Candidates http://www.eddistutorial.com/private-candidates.html
  30. Eddis Tutorial FAQ Exams Private Candidates http://www.eddistutorial.com/frequently-asked-questions-faq.html
  31. Eddis Tutorial Private Candidate Exam Centres UK http://www.eddistutorial.com/private-candidate-centres-in-the-uk.html
  32. Exams Jargon Explained http://www.examofficers.org.uk/component/content/article/41-jargon-buster/21-jargon-buster
  33. http://homeedpartners.co.uk/ http://homeedpartners.co.uk/
  34. http://www.studentforums.biz/ http://www.studentforums.biz/
  35. http://online.pembrokeshire.ac.uk/faq.html http://online.pembrokeshire.ac.uk/faq.html
  36. http://www.edexcel.com/Aboutus/press-room/press-releases/Pages/ViewItem.aspx?filter=2633 http://www.edexcel.com/Aboutus/press-room/press-releases/Pages/ViewItem.aspx?filter=2633
  37. http://education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/qualifications/examsadmin/news http://education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/qualifications/examsadmin/news
  38. http://www.examofficers.org.uk/jargon-buster http://www.examofficers.org.uk/jargon-buster
  39. Northstar CIE IGCSE Exam Centre http://examswithnsw.org/fees/
  40. Student Room Discussion A Levels as Private Candidate http://ankisrs.net/
  41. Exams Wiki Taking A Levels as Private Candidate http://www.nwilts-he.org.uk/he_exams_wiki/index.php/A-levels
  42. DfE exams timetable http://www.aqa.org.uk/news-and-policy/policy/changes-to-gcses/modular-to-linear
  43. EDSU to be phased out http://education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/qualifications/examsadmin/a00230644/exams-delive
    ry-support-unit
  44. this Guardian article, October 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_General_Certificate_of_Secondary_Education
  45. here http://edyourself.org/controlass.pdf
  46. colleges can admit 14-16s directly http://edyourself.org/articles/WolfReport.php#14-16scollege
  47. http://www.jcq.org.uk/exams-office/access-arrangements-and-special-consideration http://ehe-sen.org.uk/exams.php
  48. Ofqual consultation on new-style GCSEs http://comment.ofqual.gov.uk/setting-the-grade-standards-of-new-gcses-april-2014/
  49. here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-24759476
  50. http://ofqual.gov.uk/news/open-letter-to-schools-on-changes-to-qualifications/ http://ofqual.gov.uk/news/open-letter-to-schools-on-changes-to-qualifications/
  51. http://www.edexcel.com/Subjects/English/Pages/ViewNotice.aspx?notice=3212 http://www.edexcel.com/Subjects/English/Pages/ViewNotice.aspx?notice=3212
  52. http://www.aqa.org.uk/news-and-policy/policy/changes-to-gcses/modular-to-linear http://ofqual.gov.uk/qualifications-and-assessments/qualification-reform/?dm_i=BTP,1QPTF,290CWA,67BG
    J,1
  53. http://ofqual.gov.uk/qualifications-and-assessments/qualification-reform/a-level-reform/?dm_i=BTP,1GFI8,290CWA,4XY73,1 http://ofqual.gov.uk/qualifications-and-assessments/qualification-reform/a-level-reform/?dm_i=BTP,1G
    FI8,290CWA,4XY73,1
  54. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-21156370 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-21156370
  55. http://edyourself.org/govelettertoofqualjan22nd2013.pdf http://edyourself.org/govelettertoofqualjan22nd2013.pdf
  56. http://ofqual.gov.uk/news/changes-to-gcse-english-and-english-language/ http://ofqual.gov.uk/news/changes-to-gcse-english-and-english-language/
  57. Tamsyn Fortune Wood: OU as route to Birmingham City University http://www.home-education.org.uk/articles/article-open-university.pdf
  58. Home Education Exams Wiki: experiences of Open University http://www.nwilts-he.org.uk/he_exams_wiki/index.php?title=Personal_experiences_of_home_educators
  59. Open University Policy Under 18s http://www.open.ac.uk/students/charter/essential-documents
  60. OU Fees to Rise http://www3.open.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/qualification/ways-to-pay/index.htm
  61. Alex Dowty: OU as route to Oxford http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/Migration/article187261.ece
  62. FAQ for Exam Officers External Candidates http://edyourself.org/articles/examofficers.php
  63. Help with Access to Exams http://edyourself.org/articles/examsreport.php
  64. Special Arrangements for Exams http://ehe-sen.org.uk/exams.php
  65. Westminster Meetings Discussing Exams Access http://edyourself.org/articles/allpartygrouphomeeducation.php
  66. Education Committee Recommendations re Exam Support http://edyourself.org/articles/edcomsupporthomeed.php
  67. FAQ Exams for Private Candidates http://edyourself.org/articles/examsfaq.php
  68. Home Education and Exams http://edyourself.org/articles/exams.php
  69. Case Studies Home Education and Exams http://edyourself.org/articles/examshomeedexp.php
  70. Survey Local Authority Help with Exam Access http://edyourself.org/articles/examcentresurvey.php
  71. Removing Private Candidates from Schools Results Tables http://edyourself.org/articles/privatecandidates.php