Survey of home educators’ experiences of exam cancellations 2020-21

Although geared towards informing the DfE and Ofqual’s deliberations on how to accommodate the specific needs of private candidates due to the disruption of exam cancellations, the following survey should be of interest to home educators in Scotland, many of whom opt for GCSE and A Levels. We have already passed the findings from our own members’ survey to the Scottish Government who are wrestling with the same issue.
We have spoken at length to University of Exeter researcher Jo Merrett about her project and are pleased to circulate details to our members and supporters. As a home educating mother of two herself, Jo is committed to raising awareness and understanding of the unique issues faced by home educators as a result of these unprecedented exam cancellations.
She writes: 
If you have a home educated young person who was due to take exams last year or this year, please consider voicing your opinions and experience through my survey. DfE and Ofqual will be given a report of the findings in support.

Please consider taking this survey to help build a clear picture of typical ways that home educators work towards exams or exam preparation. Policy inclusion that is evidence based (your evidence, right here right now) can be a powerful tool to support home educators now and in the future. 

You can also take part in a youth voice project. Book an interview here and I will send you all the details, or email me at jm927[at] for more information.

Survey invitation and brief summary

Parents of Home Educated Children and Young People and Home educated adults (18+)
Purpose of the research: This survey is about your experience of providing education to your child / children at home and the experience of exams and exam cancellation.
This project aims to understand how home educated young people have experienced taking National Exams. During the corona virus pandemic home educators missed out on getting grades. This meant some young people missing out on opportunities to enrol in college or University. This might lead to significant equity issues (Merrett et al., 2020).
We are interested to know if home educators are finding it difficult to access exam centres? What if any difficulties are there in getting assessment for exams in 2020? Have families been able to access reasonable adjustments for exams?
No research in the UK to date has explored how young home educators experience this situation. The aim of the present project is to investigate:

1. How the exam cancellations have affected home educating sitting as private candidates; their ability to access exam centres and/or ability to receive a graded exam?

2. The effect on home educated young peoples ability to access higher education following exam cancellations and missing grades?

3. What support, if any, was offered to those self-funding candidates who electively home-educate (EHE)

4. What solutions may be for Department of Education’s contingency planning and to prevent home educated young people missing a second year of exams and subsequent grades.

The survey can be accessed here.

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