Today, Wednesday 13th January 2021, the Department for Education (DfE) and Ofqual have published an exchange of letters regarding forthcoming examinations and assessments.

Secretary of State’s letter to Ofqual – Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP, Secretary of State for Education sent a letter to Simon Lebus, Ofqual’s Chief Regulator.  This letter outlines the process to agree alternative arrangements for exams in 2021.

Ofqual’s letter to the Secretary of State – Simon Rebus, Chief Regulator responds to the Secretary of State for Education regarding forthcoming examinations and assessments.

In his letter, the Secretary of State sets out his position regarding assessments scheduled to take place in February and March, and also from April-August 2021.

Due to the circumstances, Ofqual and the DfE agree that they will jointly consult on the awarding arrangements for General Qualifications and Vocational, Technical and Other Qualifications (VTQs) this year.  It is expected that the consultations will be published later this week and will be live for a period of two weeks.

Once the first consultations have concluded with outcomes reported Ofqual will then need to undertake a second consultation on its technical arrangements.

Gateway Qualifications will work with, and be guided by, Ofqual and we know they are working at pace, however, given consultation timescales we do not anticipate being able to confirm what our arrangements will be until mid to late February.  In the meantime, we must continue with current arrangements and approaches to adaptation as set out in our guidance for centres on the Supporting Centres 2020-21 webpage under the current regulatory framework.

DfE has also updated its guidance on the following:

Actions for FE colleges and providers during the coronavirus outbreak

Review your remote education provision – A framework to help schools and further education (FE) providers in England identify strengths and areas for improvement in their remote education provision.

We will continue to provide updates as soon as we are able.