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Beware of private costs of GCSE exams, Lynn News letters

By Lynn News Reporter

I have recently become aware of the landscape which exists around GCSE examination entries so feel I need to share with your student/parent readers as they may need to take action within weeks.

My concerns are not around students on roll in school or college as arrangements will have been made already. My worries are about students who are not on roll in a place of education, maybe home educated, between placements or dealing with mental health issues.

If they wish to sit GCSEs this summer they need to find a centre that will accept them as an external or private candidate because most schools/colleges will not, unless the student is already on roll there. And it costs. Whereas in school a GCSE might cost the school no more than £50 per pupil per subject (this is the figure set by the examination boards), as an external candidate a student could be charged up to £250 – each place is different, but essentially this covers administration expenses, invigilators and readers when required.

Exam results.
Exam results.

So whereas students were previously under the impression that they had all the time in the world to resit, it is now complicated and costly. So students in this position need to be sure which examination board they are using and ring round all possible establishments who are running this GCSE to find out if they will accept an external candidate.

It has been suggested to me that we ourselves set up as an examination centre, but there is no way we could be ready for May and it would cost a lot to implement. We are a charity and replacing doors, installing specific locks not to mention buying a safe takes money.

I’m sorry to be a doom and gloom merchant, but felt compelled to share the information. Please contact me on 01553 762398 or office.hexagoneducation@gmail.com if I can explain further.

Mary Harper

Highgate Community Centre, Lynn


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