Latest updates from awarding bodies

Cambridge International

Cambridge International expect to run the May/June 2021 exam series in all countries as planned, where it is permitted and safe.  

All Cambridge schools and private candidates can apply to not sit some exam components in the June 2021 exam series if their learning has been disrupted by Covid-19.

Private candidates can apply for an exemption through their local British Council office. School candidates must apply through their school. Further information on how to apply for exemptions will be announced soon.

Pearson Edexcel

Pearson Edexcel has cancelled International GCSE and International AS/A Level exams for the May/June 2021 series. Students will instead receive teacher assessed grades.

  • Pearson has yet to announce how grades will be awarded to students. 
  • Pearson is waiting for Ofqual, the exam regulator in the UK, to confirm how grades will be awarded for GCSEs and A Levels in England before deciding how they will award them for their international exams.
  • We’re expecting an announcement from Pearson on how they will award grades in early March.
  • Please monitor the Pearson website for more updates on how grades will be awarded to students.

Pearson will offer an additional exam series for International GCSE later in 2021 and the International AS/A Level October exam series will go ahead as planned.

If you are a student (or your child is) at a Pearson school, then please contact your school for more information on how grades will be awarded.  

For private candidates information, scroll down to "Private candidates."

 What we will do

For now, and as per the advice from the examining boards, we will continue with the registration process as usual and as per the shared registration details with schools to ensure students will receive their qualification grade. 

Any changes within the process will be shared with schools promptly. We will keep schools posted with latest communication and arrangements as they emerge.

We will continue to support schools and students by working with the awarding bodies to understand what these changes mean for you. 

You may notice a delay in our responses to you due to a high volume of communication. We thank you for your patience.  

Private candidates

Pearson Edexcel

When the new alternative arrangements are announced, we will work closely with Pearson to understand whether they allow the British Council to help private candidates receive grades. 

It is possible that the British Council may not be able to administer these arrangements. This is because the British Council doesn’t have any direct teacher contact with private candidates. 

If you wish to receive grades for International GCSE and International AS/A Levels in May/June 2021:

You can choose to make your entry with the British Council

  • If you have already made your entry, you do not need to take any further action at this stage and do not need to withdraw.
  • Once full details of the alternative arrangement have been decided and depending on whether the British Council can help private candidates receive grades, we will advise you about what next steps you should take. 
  • We will only request payment if the British Council can help private candidates receive grades. This means you won’t be charged if you have to withdraw your entry before the entry deadline.  

Our engagement in international school exams

We work with three UK awarding bodies – Cambridge International, Pearson Edexcel and OxfordAQA – to offer school exams internationally. These are international GCSEs/iGCSEs, O Levels, AS Levels and A Levels. 

Although we administer exams in partnership with awarding bodies, we are not involved in their grading processes.  

We will continue to work closely with schools and awarding bodies to provide the best support possible for you.

For further updates from Pearson Edexcel and Cambridge International.