IGCSEs 2021: Exam board ‘sorry’ for exam decision delay

Cambridge Assessment apologises after it fails to reach a decision on whether to scrap the tests in the UK this year

Amy Gibbons

Exam papers

Exam board Cambridge Assessment has said it is sorry for the delay in deciding how its IGCSE and IA-level qualifications will be awarded in the UK this year.

The exam board said earlier this month that it was “looking at switching from exams to an approach based on teacher assessment” for the qualifications in the UK due to the government’s decision to cancel all exams this year.

Today it has apologised for the delay in coming to a decision.


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In a message to schools, the board, which runs qualifications in 160 countries, said: “For the small number of countries and regions within countries where directives from national or local authorities make it impossible for exams go ahead, we are looking at switching from exams to an approach based on teacher assessment.

“We will manage standards in 2021 with the aim of ensuring that grades are comparable whichever route a student takes.

“We’re sorry this is taking time. As the world’s largest provider of international qualifications for 5- to 19-year-olds, working with schools in many different countries, we have to take account of different requirements in different places, and make sure we can deliver a solution that meets as many needs as possible.

“We completely understand that teachers, students and parents want clarity, and we remain very grateful for your patience.”

However, the apology is unlikely to be enough for some schools and teachers waiting to hear whether exams will still go ahead or not.

David James, deputy head of an independent school in London, said: “Being sorry isn't good enough: they’ve had more than enough time to clarify matters and this indecisiveness is causing confusion in schools, and distress for our students.”

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Amy Gibbons

Amy Gibbons

Amy Gibbons is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @tweetsbyames

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