Table of Contents
- Access Arrangements
- Controlled Assessment for GCSEs
- Online A Levels and Science Practicals
- New Style GCSEs and AS/A Levels
- Alternative Qualifications and Courses
- Centre + Classes
- Useful Links
- Compulsory English and Maths 16+
- GCSE Condition of Funding Exemption
- End Old-Style (Legacy) maths English GCSEs for Under-16s
- End Modular A Levels
- Speaking and Listening Component
- Changes to A Level Resits
- Open University for under-18s
- Related Links
- Ofsted Guidance
Analysis of local authority support for exams when children are home educated More
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
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. 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
IGCSEsA 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 Pearson Edexcel. More exam centres are registered with Edexcel though this does not necessarily mean that the centre will accept private candidates for IGCSEs.
Private candidates need to find a registered centre that will:
- accept them for all elements of Controlled Assessment Task Taking and Task Marking, including preparation and analysis prior to the Task Taking
- undertake authentication of Controlled Assessment Tasks
- keep their work securely between sessions
- undertake the assessment of any Controlled Assessment Tasks.
Read more here
Online A Levels and Science Practicalshttp://online.pembrokeshire.ac.uk/home-ed.html Online A Levels + Science Practicals with Pembrokeshire College.
New Style GCSEs and A Levels
- Timeline of Changes GCSES, AS, and A Levels Updated December 2016 with information about resits for legacy GCSEs, AS and A levels, also relevant to home educators for eg new style GCSE maths.
- List of accredited new GCSEs 1st teaching 2016
In July 2014 the Department for Education announced that GCSE alternative qualifications - including IGCSEs - will not count towards school performance tables in 2017. More
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.
Alternative Qualifications and Courses
links to Access to Music Crest Awards (Science); John Muir Awards (Environment, conservation); Smallpeice Trust (Engineering, short residential courses); University of Kent Space School (Astronomy, short residential course); University of Leicester Space School; ASDAN awards
Exam Centre Run By Home Educators
Faregos Exam Centre run by home educators for home educators, Hampshire + Home education Exams tutor groups, Hampshire and Hampshire/Berkshire border More
Compulsory English and Maths 16+
The new 16+ funding arrangements mean that students should continue to study mathematics and English if they did not achieve a GCSE grade C in these subjects by the age of 16. This is explained in the Government's Funding Formula Overview.
The DfE web page was updated in February 2015 to include "unregulated IGCSEs" Link The DfE web page now also says that CIE O Levels will also be sufficient for prior attainment in English and maths.
GCSE Condition of Funding Exemption
There is a small number of students who are not able to take a GCSE or a stepping stone qualification, particularly those with multiple and complex needs. These students can be exempt from studying qualifications but appropriate literacy and numeracy should still be included in their study programme. An institution may decide that a student with learning difficulties cannot study maths or English at GCSE or stepping stone level. In this case, in addition to the student’s statement of Special Educational Need, a Learning Difficulty Assessment or an Education Health and Care Plan, the institution must hold an evidenced assessment that the student is not able to study these subjects. This assessment needs to be authorised by an appropriate professional in the institution, such as the head of SEN or Student Support. The assessment should be structured and documented.
Home Education 14-16 College FundingHome educated young people aged 14-16 in England are able to attend college and the Government will pay for the course. http://edyourself.org/articles/14-16collegeFAQ.php
End Old-Style (Legacy) maths English GCSEs for Under-16s
In August 2016 the Government published this updated paper on legacy English and maths GCSEs linked from this page confirming the Ofqual decision issued in March (see below). Depending on the GCSE syllabus offered by the college, this could affect some home educated 14-16 students on infill college courses for 16+ GCSEs beginning September 2016 with exams in September 2017.
March 2016: Ofqual says "At GCSE will require exam boards to provide: two resit opportunities in relation to legacy GCSEs in English, English language and mathematics (including linked pair maths GCSEs – ‘applications of mathematics’ and ‘methods in mathematics’), one in November 2016 and one in summer 2017. The summer 2017 resit will be limited to candidates aged 16 or over on 31 August 2016."
Ofqual says "only those students who have taken the qualification previously, who have good reason not to have taken it when planned (such as illness), or who are aged 16 or above on 31 August in the year of the last scheduled sitting can take these resits." (I think this means if someone has taken the GCSE before or intended to, then they DON'T have to be 16 for the November 2016 resit)
Ofqual also announced a resit opportunity, no later than summer 2018, in all GCSE science and additional science qualifications, adding "exam boards may decide to offer GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics but we will not require them to." Further explanation of legacy resits here
Paid apprenticeships combine on the job training with study. Apprentice pay rates are here. Starting pages about apprenticeships can be found here and here. There is a national apprenticeship scheme where you can search for an apprenticeship near you. LINK. You can apply as soon as you are 16, provided you have the relevant qualifications. Entry is competitive. Minimum entry qualifications are strictly applied (although IGCSEs can now count) LINK
NB for home educators, there is LESS FLEXIBILITY with apprenticeships and the 14-16 home education funding from the Education Funding Agency DOES NOT APPLY. Check here or here for the latest funding rules.
Traineeship requirements are not as stringent, although you must also be 16. A traineeship is a course with work experience that gets you ready for work or an apprenticeship. It can last up to 6 months.
Speaking and Listening ComponentSpeaking and listening assessments will not count towards final grades in GCSE English and English language for awards made from Summer 2014. More
Changes to A Level ResitsLegacy A Level Resits, Ofqual March 2016
Open University for Under-18sSome 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
Alex Dowty: OU as route to Oxford
Ofsted GuidanceClick here for Ofsted guidance on home education to inspectors, April 2015.
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