The Covid-19 pandemic meant that independent candidates, including home educated young people, were not only denied access to the 2020 exams they had been working towards, but were also excluded from the alternative arrangements made for their schooled counterparts in the absence of predicted grade assessments by teachers or tutors. Many home educators incurred significant financial losses as well as missing out on qualifications and university places they had worked hard for. In other words, they were effectively ‘cancelled’ along with their exams.
In July 2020, the Centre for Social Mobility, University of Exeter, submitted the following written evidence to Westminster’s Education Select Committee:
Although it focuses on England and Wales, it mirrors the ‘exclusion’ experienced by elective home educating families in Scotland which we highlighted in our Home Truths research report published in March 2020.
For previous comment on 2020 exams, see:
Scotland’s Deputy First Minster and Cabinet Secretary for Education John Swinney has now announced the cancellation of National 5 exams in 2021, although Highers are apparently set to go ahead, albeit later than usual:
Scottish National 5 exams to be cancelled in 2021 (BBC, 7 October 2020)
But all is not lost. There are many other options for home educated young people in the UK to gain qualifications of equivalent value to the school variety through independent study, including via the Open University and American programmes. Alternative routes to qualification are regularly discussed on our forum where members share their experiences of pursuing different options. Indeed we are past masters at scoring penalty shots through constantly moving goalposts!
“Where were the ‘support’ soundbites when thousands of #homeeducated young people were denied access to exams as independent candidates and the system failed to include them in alternative assessment arrangements?” #homeed https://t.co/zJbx32gmWe
— Home Education Forums (@homeedforums) October 8, 2020