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Autumn exam series 2020

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​Exam boards are offering students who were due to take an exam or assessment in summer 2020 but had these cancelled due to coronavirus, the opportunity to sit an exam or assessment in autumn 2020.

The dates for the 2020 autumn series are:

  • AS and A level exams: Monday 5 October to Friday 23 October
  • GCSE exams: Monday 2 November to Monday 23 November.

 The entry deadlines are:

  • AS and A level: Friday 4 September
  • GCSE (except English language and mathematics): Friday 18 September
  • GCSE (English language and mathematics): Saturday 4 October.

Public health guidance

The DfE has published guidance on the public health arrangements for autumn exams which can be found here. The guidance covers:

  • arrival and departure of candidates
  • set up of the exam room
  • cleaning
  • face covering
  • invigilators
  • distance between staff and candidates
  • engagement with NHS Track and Trace

DfE's exam support service

The Exam Support Service is a DfE programme for all schools, colleges and exam centres running an autumn exam series (including independent schools) and covers both general and vocational and technical qualifications. It will not cover the normal November maths and England language GCSE series.

Fee support

Schools and colleges will have to pay fees for all students whom they are entering for autumn exam series, even if these students are no longer on their roll. The DfE has now committed to funding any financial deficit caused by this.

Schools and colleges will receive a summer exam fees rebate from the awarding organisations. The DfE expects that this rebate will contribute towards the fees for the autumn exam series. However, if the rebate doesn't cover the autumn series entry fees, the Exam Support Service will provide funding to cover this deficit.

How can I claim this money?

  • Schools and colleges will be able to claim for any deficit later in the autumn term
  • They will be required to submit evidence of their autumn fees and of the summer fee rebates/credits notes received from awarding organisations.

Site support

The DfE has recognised that additional space may be required to run the autumn exam series. If additional space and sites are required, schools and colleges now have two options.

1. Use the government's fully-funded specialist venue supplier which can be booked online from the start of the autumn term.

  • Schools and colleges will still be responsible for overseeing the exams and assessments on these sites.
2. Book your own site(s) and claim the money from the DfE later in the autumn term alongside supporting evidence.
  • The DfE expects schools and colleges to seek value for money, for example by sourcing three quotes for venues.

Invigilation support

Schools and colleges will be able to book DBS checked invigilators through an approved supplier at the beginning of the autumn term. They will also be able to claim back a deficit if their autumn invigilator costs exceed invigilator savings from the summer.

The claims process opens later in the autumn term and we advised you to keep a record of exams administered as you may have to explain claims with high invigilator to student ratios.

Further information on the autumn series and the Exam Support Service can be found here.

First published 18 September 2020