All GCSE and A Level exams and selected AS exams will be available in autumn 2021 for students who had entered or intended to enter for the corresponding exam this summer. Exams will be in their normal format, with no adaptations made beyond those that had already been put in place for summer 2021 exams before they were cancelled*.
This decision follows Ofqual’s autumn consultation on general qualifications and will provide students who would like to improve their teacher assessed grade or who were unable to receive a grade in the summer, with the chance to take an exam.
Other key outcomes from the autumn 2021 consultation are:
In addition, any student who was aged at least 16 on 31 August 2021 can take the GCSE English Language and GCSE Maths exams in the autumn, as is usually the case. Exam boards will be allowed, but not required, to offer these exams in January 2022 for students who were eligible to enter the autumn exams in those subjects but did not do so because of concerns about student readiness in the autumn and/or public health safeguards. This same provision was made for the current academic year, but following feedback from schools and colleges, did not go ahead.
Ofqual has also published decisions for vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs) in autumn 2021 confirming the framework for awarding organisations (AOs) to provide assessment opportunities. Where VTQ assessments are normally available between September and January, those will be available to learners to improve on their summer 2021 result where it was based on a teacher-assessed grade.
Where VTQ assessment opportunities are not normally provided between September and January, AOs will be required to provide those opportunities if there is sufficient demand and it would be manageable to both the AO and the school or college.
*Specific adaptations that had been put in place for summer 2021 exams before they were cancelled include adaptations for GCSEs English Literature, History and Ancient History. Reasonable adjustments will be available for learners who need them.