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GCSE exams Cancelled whilst IGCSE goes ahead

The IGCSE exams (normally only taken in private schools), are still going ahead this summer whilst the GCSE exams (mostly taken in state schools) have been cancelled as many of you know. Sadly we have written extensively about educational inequality in the United Kingdom in past and this will be no exception.

The Education Secretary Gavin Williamson's scrapping of exams this summer does not apply to students taking IGCSEs, only the GCSEs, A-Levels and many other examinations sat by general public.

The Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC), representing some of the most prestigious independent schools in the country welcomed the decision not to cancel them however the general secretary of the HMC, Simon Hyde, showed some restraint. He said schools "would be the first to cheer if pupils educated by the state had the same opportunity".

Unfortunately they do not.

Ofqual (the UK National exams regulator) have launched a consultation on a replacement way of deciding grades. After last years fiasco let’s hope there have been lessons learned, however it is important to note that Ofqual does not regulate IGCSEs and therefore they will not be subject to their influence.

IGCSE? What is that?

IGCSE stands for “International General Certificate of Secondary Education”. It is equivalent to the GCSE qualification taken by students in Year 10 – 11 in the UK to prepare them for further pre-university level study, such as many courses taken at sixth form and colleges such as A-levels, BTEC and the new T-Levels.

The IGCSE is the ‘international’ version of this academic qualification as it’s available in many countries around the world. In the UK, the IGCSE is typically taught at international schools or private schools, rather than at state schools.

Edexcel and Cambridge international are the main providers of the IGCSE and do accept private candidates. Private candidates are students who are not necessarily enrolled or attached to an educational institution (e.g. a school or college) who would like to get their qualifications. They are responsible for their own education and only come to the exam centres on the days of their exams to sit them. Here are Soaring Stars Education we have supported many private candidates in the past.

Please contact us if you would like more information or to guide you though the process of registering your child as a private candidate so they can sit the IGCSE exams.

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