Bad News I’m afraid.

Pearson have cancelled IGCSE’s for Summer 2021

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My advice. Don’t withdraw entries or cancel exam bookings, if you do you won’t have any grade at all. Wait for the consultation results to find out what procedures will be available.

From the Pearson Website announcement:

Today, Wednesday 3 February 2021, we are confirming that will use a robust approach based on teacher assessment for International GCSE assessment in May/June 2021 and exams will not go ahead as planned. We will offer an additional exam series for International GCSE later this year.

Our priorities throughout this pandemic have been to keep everyone safe and well and to ensure fairness so that every student receives a grade that reflects their knowledge and understanding.

In making this decision, we have spoken to many schools, teachers and students and have carefully considered a range of options. These included having exams in some countries and teacher assessment in others. Given the ongoing uncertainty, we feel that this could not be done fairly and would risk unintentionally disadvantaging individual students.

You should continue to teach your students, and we will ensure that you are fully supported as we work through the next steps.

Additional exam series for International GCSE

In addition to confirming this approach for the May/June 2021 series, we also intend to make available an additional focused exam series for International GCSE later in the year. This will enable students who prefer to take exams to have the opportunity to do so. We will be consulting with you separately on this and are keen to hear your feedback.

Teacher assessed grades

For May/June 2021, we will use training, support and rigorous quality assurance procedures to ensure that grades are awarded fairly. This approach will be different to last year’s Centre Assessment Grades. As part of this, we are mindful of the needs of private candidates.

Ensuring that students can move on to the next stage of their education with confidence, and with the knowledge and skills to be successful, is of paramount importance. We want to ensure that all students have an opportunity to achieve a grade that reflects their knowledge and understanding and that is based on a rigorous and robust process.

Ensuring that all stakeholders have confidence in the outcomes of students, and that they are fair and consistent, is a key principle and we will be providing further details on this from early March.

Support for teacher assessed grading: our commitment to you

We know that you will be keen to understand more about how the teacher assessed grade will work. We are committed to providing schools with a comprehensive support package to complete teacher assessment.

To do this we will:

  • Provide all information regarding teacher assessed grades and associated activities in our bi-weekly newsletter as an update for Heads of Centre, Heads of Department, Teachers and Exams Officers
  • Share important news and updates on our website, social media channels and via the weekly Exams Officer Updates
  • Publish detailed guidance at the very earliest opportunity on the process of submitting teacher assessed grades
  • Produce user guides, videos and step-by-step instructions for any new processes and systems
  • Deliver enhanced support and training to support you in making the best decisions
  • Provide support to students, parents and carers to understand the processes being undertaken this year
  • Share more on the standardisation of teacher assessed grades, arrangements for year 10 or private candidates and appeals, once we can after the outcome of the Ofqual consultation.