Our focus this year has been to work with you to deliver results so your students can progress. Schools and colleges have been at the heart of the grading process this summer. We’re so grateful for the sheer hard work, professionalism and dedication of teachers, head teachers, exams officers and everyone in schools and colleges in determining and submitting grades over the last few months.
After exams were cancelled earlier this year, we committed to passing back any savings to schools and colleges in the form of a rebate on our qualification fees. This reflects the lower costs we’ve incurred in delivering qualifications. Although we’re a not for profit organisation, we still need to cover our costs. We can confirm the following:
The fees we charge do not just reflect the costs of final assessment, such as a summer exam series. They include the professional expertise and support we provide to teachers and students over several years of study, technology costs and the investment we make in our qualifications.
In this unusual year, we’ve avoided significant costs such as the printing and posting of exam papers, the scanning of exam papers for online marking, as well as in relation to the standardisation of examiners, marking and moderation.
However, we’ve incurred some exceptional costs related to the new processes that have been used to award grades this summer. These include the provision of additional online training and support to exams officers and teachers, development of new IT systems for schools and colleges to submit grades to us, the construction of optional assessment materials, and running quality assurance checks.
In addition the Department for Education (DfE) is providing funding to awarding organisations for appeals in relation to state funded centres and those entering private candidates and for support relating to the cost of autumn exams. We have increased our rebate to take account of this. Our savings this year taking into account this DfE funding are £15.5m.
We believe it is important to return as much as possible to schools and colleges given the huge amount of extra work that teachers and school leaders have done this year. To recognise this we have decided to increase what we will pay back to schools and colleges beyond this year’s savings alone. To give schools and colleges a rebate of 42% of fees for general qualifications and 20% for our main vocational qualifications, we are committed to returning a total of £18.4 million to the sector.
We hope this rebate is helpful to schools and colleges and the explanation gives you clarity. We’ll issue rebates in the form of credit notes this autumn but we will also work with any school that may be experiencing difficulties on a case by case basis. Any school that has credit notes remaining after all invoices are paid next year will be able to request a refund.
The rebates will be as follows: