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This page was updated on 19th January 2021.

We will be updating this page as and when we receive the latest information from the government and relevant awarding bodies. Please continue to check back on this page for the latest Summer 2021 exams news. Thank you for your patience at this time.

Ofqual Open Consultation - deadline 29th January

Open consultation on how GCSE, AS and A level grades should be awarded in summer 2021:

Ofqual have published a consultation document about the cancellation of the summer exams. We encourage students and other interested parties, for example, parents, to read it and to send in your comments on the proposals by the deadline of 29th January.

Follow the link for further information: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-how-gcse-as-and-a-level-grades-should-be-awarded-in-summer-2021

FAQs: Summer 2021 Examinations A level and GCSE - updated 11th January 2021

The following FAQs are correct as of 11th January 2021 and have been developed in good faith using the information that we have to date. Please be aware that NEC has to follow the guidance provided by Ofqual and the awarding bodies.

Latest update from our Exams team:

Date of statement publication: 07/01/21

Following the recent announcement by the UK government about the cancellation of the summer 2021 GCSE and A level exams, we understand that you will be anxious for further information about how the exams will be replaced. The awarding bodies are currently working with Ofqual and the Department for Education to understand the implications of the announcement and will release further details to schools, colleges and learning providers once these details are confirmed.

Please be assured that we are here to support you through these unprecedented times. Our committed and experienced staff and tutors delivered centre assessed grades for all our eligible students at very short notice when the exams were cancelled in March last year.

Our advice to NEC students who intended to sit exams in Summer 2021 is to:

  • book your exam place as a matter of urgency. You can find the exam application form and information by clicking here. If you have booked an exam at a private centre, you will need to cancel this entry and enter through NEC. This is the only way we are able to provide a centre assessed grade. 
  • continue to work steadily through your course or courses. Please do not upload multiple assignments at once. You must continue to upload assignments one by one and wait for your tutor's feedback before submitting the next one. It is crucial that you demonstrate consistent progression by submitting assignments one by one and taking note of the feedback provided by your tutor/s. We have been advising students that if centre assessment grades are awarded in summer 2021 they would need to have completed at least 80% of their academic course assignments to be eligible for an award. The more assignments you have completed, the better position you will be in for a centre assessed grade and you should therefore aim to complete all of your assignments.

When completing your work it is important to remember that you should reference your work appropriately and ensure that you avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism may be accidental, for example if you forget to acknowledge the source of material you include in your assignment, or it may be deliberate. NEC will not accept any plagiarised work, and when this is identified, either by a tutor or by the use of plagiarism software tools, the work will be discounted and will not be used as part of centre assessment grading.

Students can find help and guidance on how to avoid plagiarism in the Student Support site on learn@nec.

You will find updates and detailed information on the Exams and Assessment page of learn@nec and also on our 2021 exams page on our website

You can also view the Ofqual response to the announcement by clicking here.

As and when more information is released, we will let you know and also update these pages.

Best wishes

NEC Exams

Previous updates from our Exams team will be listed below:

Date of statement publication: 05/01/2021

Following the recent announcement about the cancellation of the Summer 2021 GCSE and A level exams by the UK government, we understand that you will be anxious for further information about how the exams will be replaced. The awarding bodies are currently working with Ofqual and the Department for Education to understand the implications of the announcement and will let us know when they have decided how to replace the exams.

Our advice to students aiming for the summer 2021 exams, is to book your exam place as a matter of urgency (if you haven't already) to ensure you are eligible for any alternative assessment.

Please note that we are only able to provide centre assessment for students who have booked with NEC. Therefore if you have made your own booking with a private centre, we advise you to cancel that booking and to rebook with NEC. You should also continue to work steadily on your course/s.

Some of you may have queries about the January examination series for International GCSEs. These exams are still intended to be available as planned. However, due to school closures there may be issues around this and we will be in touch to confirm details.

Please be assured that we are here to support you through these unprecedented times and as soon as we have more information, we will let you know.
Best wishes

NEC Exams

Useful links

What did we do when the 2020 exams were cancelled?

GCSE and A level results last year were extraordinary to say the least. With the coronavirus pandemic forcing the cancellation of the Summer 2020 exams, a new assessment model was put in place. This was based on centre assessment grades (CAGs) produced by teachers and moderated nationally through an Ofqual produced algorithm, which then had to be swiftly withdrawn in a major government U-turn to allow students to be awarded their original centre assessment grade. In our 57 year history as an education provider, we can safely say that we had never experienced anything like it before.

While the attention around the grade moderation fiasco centred on the disproportionate downgrading of state schools compared to independent schools, thousands of private candidates faced their own set of unique disadvantages. Many private candidates, including second-chance learners and home-educated children, were unable to be entered for a centre assessment grade (CAG) at all because they were not registered with an exam centre.

As NEC is a registered exam centre, our students, who had submitted enough work to be assessed, received a CAG based on assessment by their tutor. For those who were not eligible, we were in the position to defer their entry to the autumn sitting and have proceeded to aide those students with the booking process.

We found, as did many other schools and colleges, that the Ofqual moderation process for A levels had seriously disadvantaged some NEC students, with some dropping as many as three or four grades. Up until the government U-turn and switch to CAGs we had been engaging with the exam boards and working tirelessly to appeal grades on behalf of these students.

We worked extremely hard to work towards the best outcomes for our students, including submitting centre assessment grades, dealing with individual students' cases and keeping students and their parents as up-to-date as possible during unprecedented times.

Learn more about how we dealt with the cancellation of the 2020 exams here.