Updated 14/4/20 22:30

Whilst we await confirmation regarding the use of Centre Assessment Grades for private candidates, we would remind all Summer 2020 candidates that it is very important that you continue to study and complete as much assessment as you can, to ensure your grade is made available. We will continue to mark all assessments and include this in the grading process in accordance with the awarding body guidelines, until such time as we are instructed to stop. This should supersede any previous advice offered. We would also encourage anyone who has not yet done so, to complete the Summer 2020 Exam Candidate Outcome Decision on our website.

Updated 9/4/20 11:30

We emailed 8000 students last night offering the latest update with regards to Summer 2020 Exam Candidates. We have explained what options are available to candidates at this time, and have provided all the available information from OfQUAL and the awarding bodies that is available to us at this time. If you are a Summer 2020 exam candidate, you are urged to read the latest guidance from OfQUAL and then complete the Summer 2020 Exam Candidate Outcome Decision form on our website. We need to register your choice of deferment or grade. The deadline for submission is Monday the 13th of April 2020.

With Belt and Braces in mind, we will also post this information in ALL CloudLearn courses, including the Book Your Exam course on CloudPort, so apologies if you receive multiple emails, but this will ensure that the information goes out to ALL exam candidates (particularly those who may have changed their email and not informed us (all information is sent via the email address provided to us).

Updated 3/4/20 16:30

Ofqual has today made the following announcement https://www.gov.uk/government/news/how-gcses-as-a-levels-will-be-awarded-in-summer-2020 pay particular attention to the information pertaining to Private Candidates:

"We know many private candidates (students who have been home-schooled, following distance-learning programmes or studying independently) are anxious to know how these arrangements might be applied to them. Heads of centre have been asked to provide centre assessment grades for private candidates registered to take exams with their centre and include them in the rank order where they are confident that they and their staff have seen sufficient evidence of the student’s achievement to make an objective judgement. We are urgently exploring whether there are alternative options for students who need results this summer to progress and for whom a centre assessment grade is not possible. It may, unfortunately, be necessary for some to take exams in the autumn or next summer to get their grades. We appreciate that this is a matter of real concern to private candidates and will provide an update as soon as possible. We have asked organisations that represent universities and FE colleges to consider private candidates when making admissions decisions this summer. They have told us that they believe that institutions will consider a range of other evidence and information for these students to allow them to progress wherever possible."

We are working with our partner Exam Centre to propose a process for grade prediction, and once we know if, and how this will work for private candidates, we will notify all students. Please remain patient whilst we work on this, continue to study and submit work as normal.

Updated 25/3/20 12:15

The latest update is that we are still awaiting confirmation I am afraid, and to reassure you that as soon as we have the information we are waiting for, we will notify you within minutes, day or night. The awarding bodies are working on this now, and once they have a plan/strategy in place for the grading of private candidates we will be notified, as will you in turn. I understand how frustrating this is for everyone involved so let us thank you again for your patience, cooperation and understanding. ALL updates will be posted on this page, so please ensure you bookmark and visit on a daily basis.

Updated 23/3/20 12:00

Please see the latest update from our partner exam centre, Tutors and Exams. You will find this update in your 'Engage Portal', additionally, Tutors and Exams are emailing all CloudLearn candidates via the email address you provided.

Whilst the exam centres are still awaiting definitive confirmation from the awarding bodies, it looks quite likely that we will be using predicted grades to request certification for candidates. Those candidates who would prefer to defer should contact us this week, so we can record and pass your request to the exam centre.

I understand how frustrating this must be for all candidates. Please be aware that we are working on this around the clock in consultation with the exam centres and awarding bodies. As soon as we have confirmation, we will let you know within minutes.

Updated 20/3/20 18:45

We are still awaiting an update from the exam centres on what is recommended for our exam candidates entered for Summer 2020. I was hoping we would have an update for you today, but as I am sure you are all aware, this is taking more time than expected to trickle down from Government, to Ofqual, to awarding bodies, to exam centres, to us and finally to you.

Be aware we are continuing to work on this over the weekend, and the moment we have a definitive response, you will have it. We have responded to every candidate query this week by telephone, email and live chat. So thanks again to the team, you have been absolutely awesome this week, especially given that you all started on new systems, as part of our 'Work from Home' directive.

I am hoping we will have more information for you on Monday. Enjoy your weekend, support each other where you can, try to stay safe, and we will get through this together.

Updated 19/3/20 19:00

I would like to take this opportunity to thank ALL of our summer 2020 exam candidates (and parents) for their patience and understanding during these very unsettling times. The cooperative spirit you have exhibited in light of unprecedented anxiety, has been an inspiration to us all, and I would ask that you all continue to support us, as we work (around the clock) to obtain for you the best resolution we can.

My priority as of Monday the 16th was to ensure the safety of our tutors and support staff, so that they are able to support you through these coming weeks. On Tuesday we had ALL staff working safely from home and we anticipate no significant downtime. I would however again ask for your patience, as we are experiencing unseen volumes of calls, emails and live chats relating to exams. Our support staff are working tirelessly through a steep learning curve in using remote working technologies, so that we can continue to support students in achieving their objectives safely.

As you all know, we are keeping you updated with the latest information as we get it from the exam centres. All updates are being sent to you via the exam portal 'Engage', logins for which, you have all been provided. I expect that most of you have seen the latest update from our exam partner Tutors and Exams. For those of you who have not, please follow this link. As we advised earlier today, we are awaiting confirmation, which we expect tomorrow and early next week, as to what options are available and recommended for candidates in different situations. I appreciate that many of you are very anxious to hear the outcome, so please rest assured that our team are doing everything they can to get the information to you as soon as it becomes available.

I would also like to thank ALL the CloudLearn team for pulling together and demonstrating such a supportive and dedicated spirit to ensure our students' needs continue to be met. I know many of you are struggling with your own daily challenges, so the overtime you have donated to help our community is truly impressive. Thank you all so much.

We will continue to update you the moment we can.

Stuart Gibson
CloudLearn CEO

Updated 19/3/20 12:15

We have been in meetings with our partner exam centres all morning and here is the information we have at this time.

  1. All exam candidates will have the option of deferment to a later diet at no additional cost. This includes candidates travelling from overseas, and particularly those at high-risk (or immediate family). If this is an option please make us aware ASAP, so that we can start making the necessary arrangements.
  2. The exam centres are awaiting government confirmation (due tomorrow) that grades can be provided on the basis of predicted grades already provided. This may be the preferred option for MOST A-Level students who are looking for grades for university entry in 2020. ALL 2020 A-Level exam candidates should already have submitted NEA (Coursework) and at least 2 TMAs on CloudPort.
  3. CPAC students who have already begun Science Practicals, may be awarded the endorsement on work already completed. The exam centres are negotiating this with the awarding bodies as we speak and we will have an update on this in the coming days.
  4. The exam centres are coordinating with Pearson (Edexcel) and CIE to request permission that IGCSE external candidates can still present for examination. This decision is under consultation with the awarding bodies and we should have a definitive answer on this within the next 2-3 days.

As this is still very much in a state of flux, I would recommend that ALL candidates remain entered for examination for the coming days, until we have more assurances from the awarding bodies and exam centres, as to what options are available/recommended. International students are recommended to request free deferment to 2021 immediately, as travel into the UK will be at the very least problematic, and you may benefit from canceling flights/hotels etc. in advance.

If the exam centres get permission to facilitate IGCSE examinations in summer 2020, the caveat will be that candidates attend at their own risk, and only those exhibiting no symptoms and deemed low risk should attend. If you are in any doubt and if deferment is an option we would very much recommend that approach, as it will give you time to mitigate risk.

We will continue to keep 2020 exam candidates updated via this page and by email. Please continue to be patient as we work on your behalf. The exam centres are sending out updates via email prompting you to log into the 'Engage' exam portal, so that you can see information as it becomes available. A Forum post was published on CloudPort this past Monday that gives information on how to do this. Please know that we are doing everything in our power to get this information to you, as it becomes available.

Updated 19/3/20 09:30

We have meetings scheduled with our partner exams centre today at 11am. As soon as we have a strategy in place we will give an update here, as well as emailing ALL exam candidates. I appreciate how stressful this is for everyone and I thank you for the patience you have demonstrated over the last few days. Rest assured we are doing everything in our power to obtain a suitable resolution for all concerned.

Updated 18/3/20 20:00

At time of writing we are awaiting an update from the exam centres in regard to this upcoming exam diet for GCSE/IGCSE/A-Level exams. They in turn are awaiting contingency sign-off from the awarding bodies, who are taking their cue from Ofqual and DfE directives in light of the recent statement made by PM Boris Johnson.

As soon as we have this we will provide you with the information as to how this will impact exam students. Please be patient and rest assured that we will disseminate this to you at the absolutely earliest.

Updated 16/03/20 11:00

In light of the uncertainty we all face in our daily lives with the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), I wanted to keep you informed of the steps I’ve asked our team at CloudLearn to take to ensure we are prepared for all scenarios. My absolute number one priority is the safety of Learners, Tutors and Support Staff, no matter what happens.

Amid the COVID-19 anxiety, school shutdowns, work-from-home directives, and more, we at CloudLearn have resources to help families and schools navigate this unpredictable time. As a parent and teacher myself, I know it can feel overwhelming for families and teachers to adjust their plans on the fly.

Our immediate focus is on ensuring our current students are aware of the latest information with regards to upcoming GCSE and A-Level exams. Our partner exam centre Tutors & Exams, are in constant communication with all awarding bodies, to ensure they are following recommendations and sharing this information with candidates. This is why it is imperative that you regularly log into the T&E Exam Portal for which you have been provided login details. There you will find all the relevant up-to-date information relating to the upcoming exam diets. If you have any questions or concerns, you should contact the exam centre directly via the portal, alternatively call them on 02476 221 008.

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Helping our learner community choose media and technology that can keep students engaged, entertained, and learning is core to our organisational mission. Whether you have children at home or you need to develop plans to learn outside the classroom, we will help you find the solution you need.

In an effort to ensure the safety of our support staff we are implementing a "Work from Home" directive. As of Wednesday the 18th March all CloudLearn support staff will be working remotely. This should not have any effect on our ability to support our students, but we would ask that during this time, you remain patient, as we expect a higher volume of calls during the coming days.

Kurien Philip
Director of Technology


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