How to book exams as a Private Candidate
Your Home Educated child will need to be entered for exams as a PRIVATE CANDIDATE and the parent has to do the entry and ensure all deadlines are met, this is entirely the parent/guardians responsibility. Most exams are sat during May and June each year and this is called the Summer exam season. Currently deadlines at some centres can be the September before the next Summer exam season, my advice is to make initial contact a year in advance.
You need to contact your local exam centres or find local schools or local private schools that allow Home Educated students to sit the exams at their exam centre as a PRIVATE CANDIDATE. You can phone around and ask to speak to the EXAMS OFFICER who will tell you if they will accept PRIVATE CANDIDATES and what their process is for registering for the exams in the subjects your child is studying.
You need to ask what the fees will be and what their deadline dates are. Tell them which EXAM BOARD your child is sitting exams with (EDEXCEL/AQA/CIE/CCEA/OCR/WJEC/EDUCAS are some you will see). Ask for the forms you have to complete and ask what forms of ID they will accept. Once you have the information you have to ensure you follow their instructions and meet all their deadlines. If you miss a deadline you will have to pay LATE FEES so double check you know what to send in and when. Make sure you know the costs and ensure you pay the fee before their deadline as if you don’t pay your child will not be entered for the exams.
Some areas of UK have more exam centres than others so it depend on where you live, or where you can travel to, as to how difficult it is to find an exam centre. Be advised that some people will need to book hotel rooms if the centre is a distance away especially for morning exams where you need to arrive at the exam centre by 8:30 am. Remember to take into account traffic problems so always allow enough time to get there.
Special Access Arrangements
If your child has any kind of SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS, SEN ARRANGEMENTS, SPECIAL ACCESS NEEDS or EHCP you will need to do all the above a year in advance to be on the safe side. For SPECIAL ACCESS REQUIREMENTS the exam centre will need you to provide proof of the needs which may entail reports being completed by specialists for example Educational Psychologists or Doctors. These can take a long time to get done so you need to work with your exam centre to ensure you are providing everything they need to be able to accommodate your child’s requirements. For example, if your child has severe anxiety and needs to be in a small room by themselves to sit their exams there will be a physical limit on how many students can be accepted due to how many small rooms your exam centre has available. These are often over-subscribed so again, ask now, don’t delay.
Tutors & Exams Private Exam Centres
If you are able to get to a T&E (Tutors & Exams) private exam centre you will get a discount on the fees as AWE Club is an APPROVED LEARNING PARTNER of T&E. When AWE Club students book with them via their online access you can put in a discount code which you need to ask me for (use this contact form) This code must not be shared as it is only for AWE Club students.
Exam booking is a worrying time for many parents so again it is best to get started finding an exam centre and getting all the information you will need together in plenty of time.
A useful website with lots of information is the Home Educators exams WIKI
Your local Home Ed groups or Facebook groups will be able to tell you what is available in your area. Education Otherwise has lists of Home Ed groups in all regions.
Good luck, stay calm! happy Home Edding!