Autumn Term GCSE and A Level Examinations: Financial Support

Oct 5, 2020 | Finance Posts

Following the difficulties associated with the awarding of examination results in the summer, some students will be opting to sit examinations this term with the hope of improving their grades.

Schools and colleges are expected to facilitate arrangements for any students wishing to sit autumn examinations.

Where capacity is an issue, the DfE’s Examination Support Service can assist with booking venues and invigilators. 

Schools and colleges will also be able to claim funding through the service for essential additional costs associated with running examinations in the autumn.  This includes examination fees charged by awarding organisations, alternative sites, and invigilation.

However, schools and colleges are expected to enter students for the examinations and pay the associated fees for all students who were due to sit exams in the summer, rather than passing on the cost to students or their families.

The DfE’s examination support service

The DfE is providing support for schools and colleges to run autumn examinations.  

Its Examination Support Service will assist with any additional costs associated with running these examinations.  

Fees charged by awarding organisations, sites and invigilation will also be included.

The service will not cover English and Mathematics GCSE examinations taken by students who did not achieve a grade 4 or higher in these subjects, because these examinations take place in November in a normal year and schools and colleges will have planned and budgeted for them.

The claims process and further guidance on how to make claims will be available later this year.

Responsibilities for paying examination fees

The awarding organisations are responsible for their own approach to charging fees for examinations.  

The DfE anticipates that they will charge fees for autumn examinations in the usual way.

Given the unique circumstances in which these examinations are taking place, the DfE is clear that students and their families should not have to cover the fees for the examinations they choose to enter. 

Schools and colleges are expected to pay the fees.  

Financial support for schools and colleges – how will it work?

Schools and colleges are not expected to face additional costs for fees, over and above what they would have paid had the summer examinations taken place as usual. 

In order to ensure the school or college does not incur a net loss, the DfE will provide funding if needed. 

The total of the autumn examination fees and any rebates/credit notes the school or college receives in respect of summer examinations will form the basis for this assessment.

The awarding organisations are currently in the process of providing information to schools and colleges on any rebates they can expect in relation to summer 2020 examinations. 

Individual awarding organisations can decide on their rebate arrangements, reflecting their particular circumstances.

The DfE will not provide financial support for any administrative fees charged by schools and colleges, over and above the fees charged by the awarding organisations. 

Schools and colleges are not expected to charge administrative fees to students for these examination and therefore any such costs will need to be met by the School. 

For the full guidance visit the gov.uk website here.

Find out more about our financial support services for schools and academies here.