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exam centre guidance for private candidates

📅 April 20, 2021

⏱️2 min read

We have taken the liberty of repeating the guidance exam centres have been given on how to deal with private exam candidates .

Please note that the Interim guidance for centres accepting Private Candidate entries for GCSE,AS and A level qualification in summer 2021, JCQ 15 March 2021 is superseded by this document. 

This guidance provides an overview of those elements of the assessment process that areparticularly relevant for Private Candidates in Summer 2021. It applies to Private Candidatestaking GCSEs, AS or A levels.

This guidance has been written with Private Candidates in mind, but may also apply to someother students, particularly those who have changed centres recently. The Department for Education has published guidance for centres on a Private CandidateSupport Grant.  jcq private candidate JCQ will produce a list of centres willing to offer GCSEs, AS or A levels to Private Candidateswho wish to enter in Summer 2021.  All JCQ centres have been given the opportunity to beadded to the list.

JCQ has contacted all centres by email with a survey asking them to providedetails of the subjects they can offer and a brief outline of their assessment process for PrivateCandidates including, for example, whether they can offer assessments remotely and whetherthey are willing to consider pre-existing evidence.

Private Candidates Private Candidates are students who have not studied with the exam centre that makes their entry. 

Included in this group are, for example: • school age students who have been home educated; • adults who have studied independently; • students who have studied with a distance learning provider which does not offer examentry; • students at a school or college who have studied an additional subject outside of theschool or college; and • students returning to their former centre to resit a qualification.

This guidance also applies to students at a school or college who have studied an additional subject outside of the school or college.

Overview of assessment process

Private Candidates will be assessed this year on a range of evidence, in a similar way to otherstudents.

Centres will have considerable flexibility to determine the appropriate range of evidencefor their students. 

We expect centres that assess Private Candidates to use this flexibility toselect evidence which reflects the student’s particular circumstances, including the content they have covered in their studies. 

Centres accepting Private Candidate entries will need to understand how the Private Candidatehas been studying, what evidence they may have already generated, and how much of thespecification content they have covered in their studies.  This could be achieved by means of ashort interview with the student - which could be conducted remotely – or a short questionnaire. This will enable the centre to identify what types of assessment might be most appropriate for the Private Candidate, whether pre-existing evidence is available and whether any reasonable adjustments or access arrangements are required.

Centres should consider their obligations under the Equality Act 2010 when providing reasonable adjustments for Private Candidates.

Where a centre agrees to provide reasonable adjustments for a candidate, no additional chargeshould be made. Centres should ensure they have clearly communicated their assessment approach to a potential Private Candidate, before agreeing to make their entry, to help ensure the candidate and centrehave the same expectations of the process.

Where a centre wishes to accept a Private Candidate entry for a subject it does not teach, it may wish to consider engaging third party subject expertise to conduct the assessment process.Where subject expertise is utilised, the centre is responsible for ensuring that the assessmentshave been conducted appropriately. Awarding organisations may be able to support centresin identifying appropriate subject experts. 

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