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January 2021 Exam update

Important information for students set to take examinations in January 2021.

Following the introduction of a national lockdown on Monday 4 January 2021, the government instructed all educational establishments to close physical campuses as a measure to reduce and limit the spread of Covid-19.

As part of this, the government also announced that there would be changes to the examination cycle for GCSE and A Levels due to be sat this year. However, they indicated that exams scheduled for January 2021, including BTEC assessments, would still take place.

Unfortunately, the College had no advanced warning of yesterday evening’s announcement and has been working to quickly understand what actions we need to take to ensure that as an organisation we comply with the government’s latest guidance whilst ensuring the health and safety of our colleagues and students remains our number one priority. As such, during the course of this morning we have been undertaking an assessment of whether we can safely conduct your scheduled examination.

Having undertaken this process the College has regretfully reached the decision that we will have to cancel examinations due to take place in January 2021. While many factors have been considered this decision has ultimately been taken due to two key factors:

  1. Our position throughout the pandemic has been that our number one priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of students and staff and that remains our position.  We do not feel that we can achieve the staffing levels to welcome students onto campus and oversee the exam in a fully Covid-19 secure environment.
  2. Due to a shortage of temporary, agency staff available to come onto campus to invigilate the exams we cannot administer the examinations in compliance with the guidelines and regulations set out by the awarding body.

We have not taken this decision lightly and fully appreciate that this decision is likely to cause students some worry and concerns about your future grades. We also know how hard students have been working to prepare for these assessments and are aware that you will be disappointed about this decision.

However, we will be working with the awarding bodies to ensure that you are not negatively impacted or disadvantaged by this decision. The majority of examinations in this series can be rescheduled and for those that cannot, please be reassured that we will be providing you with all the support you require to ensure that you are still able to achieve your full potential.

We will be in touch with you as soon as we have finished consulting with the awarding bodies and advise you on the next steps. In the meantime, your tutors will be in contact with you to discuss your progress and to ensure you have all the support you require to successfully continue with your studies.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your tutor in the first instance.