The National Extension College response to the 2020 exams fiasco Tuesday, 18 August 2020

The National Extension College understands how important A levels and other qualifications are to our students. Over our 57 years as an education provider we have seen the difference that a qualification can make to someone’s life, whether it opens the door to getting into the university of their choice or starting a dream job, the right result can make all the difference, and this extends across all ages and backgrounds. 

As well as providing for some home-educated and younger students going through the exam system for the first time, many of our students are ‘second-chance’ learners. Students who have made the decision to step back into education, often after a difficult experience first-time round, but with a clear goal in mind and newly acquired determination to achieve it. 

Before yesterday’s welcome U turn to award students their original Centre Assessment Grade (CAG) we, like many of you were shocked and appalled by the situation and saddened that some students would not be receiving a grade that reflected their true ability.  

The Ofqual moderation process seriously disadvantaged some NEC students, with some dropping as many as three or four grades. Up until yesterday’s announcement we had been engaging with the exam boards and working tirelessly to appeal grades.  

Although we welcome the decision to award grades on the basis of the original Centre Assessment Grades (CAGs) we regret that this year’s system has caused so much confusion and turmoil. We sympathise with the students for whom this announcement has come too late and will still miss out on their first choice university because all the places on their course have been filled. 

We are currently awaiting further guidance from Ofqual who have advised that they will be moving forward with a plan and providing further clarity to schools and colleges. We understand that many students will have questions. 

NEC will continue to monitor the situation and will update our students with further information as soon as we are able.

What’s next after 2020 exams?

Whether you achieved the grade you expected or not, there are still a wide range of options available to you. Find out more about what to do next. Visit:

Looking for more information on exams?

We will be updating a dedicated 2020 exams page with the latest information as and when we receive it. This includes information on the Autumn exam sessions and preparation for 2021. Visit:

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