Coronavirus (Covid-19) Student Update

As you are probably aware, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that schools in the UK will shut from Friday until further notice. This is a response to the coronavirus pandemic.

As we are a private college and studies are carried out online by distance learning, this news will not affect our students and courses will continue as normal. However, the safety of our employees is of utmost priority and where possible, they will continue to deliver the wonderful service they normally give but working from home, where possible.

UPDATE 3rd April 2020 - Updates by Ofqual for private candidates

Ofqual are aware that many private candidates (students who have been home-schooled, following distance-learning programmes or studying independently) are anxious to know how arrangements might be applied to them following the recent decision to cancel examinations for the May/June series. Heads of examination centres 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.

Ofqual have asked organisations that represent universities and FE colleges to consider private candidates when making admission decisions this summer. They believe that institutions will consider a range of other evidence and information for these students to allow them to progress wherever possible.

Students who have booked examinations for the May/June series should contact their examinations centre and ask them to either contact us with specific requirements or forward a copy of any correspondence received that indicates requirements.

We would also recommend that you contact your prospective University or College and ask if there is anything they require to help support your application.

We will do everything in our power to assist this process but please note, we can only provide information for any requests that have been put in writing.

UPDATE 1st April 2020 - Cambridge Assessment International Education Updates

Please find below a statement from CAIE regarding private candidates:

We will treat private candidates in the same way as school candidates, in that all the grades we award will be based on evidence.

Where a candidate has not been taught at the centre handling their entry, centres must carefully investigate what evidence of the candidate’s work can be obtained and authenticated. Evidence from a candidate’s previous school is likely to be acceptable. Evidence from parents or from the candidates themselves should not be accepted. Evidence from tutors needs to be considered in the individual context.

Heads of centre will be responsible for vouching for the authenticity of the evidence gathered about every candidate.

If you wish your existing coursework be used towards your final grades, in the first instance you should contact the examination centre where you have booked your exams and ask then to contact us for clarification or forward us a copy of an email stating their requirements.

Students are still able to choose a different exam date if they feel it would be more beneficial to their final grades and we will continue to offer support.

UPDATE 27th March 2020 - Predicted Grades

We have received a number of requests from students to provide them with predicted grades in response to the Department of Education’s announcement that May/June examinations will no longer be going ahead.

Whilst the Department of Education has not yet finalised any arrangements of the requirements that must be met, we have received requests from Universities and Examination Centres asking for information in anticipation of this forthcoming decision.

We will do everything we possibly can to support students during this difficult time and provide any information requested of us. In order to supply details of predicted grades we must either have a direct request from your University or Examination Centre; alternatively we will accept an email forwarded from yourself to us from your respective establishment.

Please note, it will be your responsibility to talk to them directly to obtain this information and we in turn will do everything we can to collate this data and provide a speedy response. However, do remember that this is a mammoth task for everyone concerned and we are all working together to ensure that students are treated fairly in this time of uncertainty.

UPDATE 25th March 2020 - Pearson International Schools

In line with other awarding bodies, Pearson International Schools have now made the difficult decision not to hold any international GCSEs or international A Levels during the May/June 2020 series. This is on a global basis.

They have advised that they are committed to ensuring that all students internationally receive a result and a grade and will be using the same principle as other awarding bodies in order to provide this.

Further details will be available once they have been worked out and this includes procedures for private candidates.

UPDATE 23rd March 2020 - Cambridge Assessment International Education

Cambridge Assessment International Education have today updated their position regarding examinations in the May/June series of this year.

As you are probably aware, Cambridge is an awarding body that carries out examinations worldwide including the UK.

In recent days they have been talking to their global community of schools and it has become clear that many schools in more countries have decided to extend school closures throughout May and June to ensure the safety of students and teachers. This means it is impossible to conduct examinations in this series.

After much consideration, Cambridge have decided not to hold examinations in any country in the May/June series 2020. They do however recognise the hard work that students have been putting in to their studies, whilst working towards their exams and plans are under way to work out how to reward students’ achievements using the best evidence available.

This will affect A Level and IGCSE students and Cambridge have advised that they will be able to provide further updates on 26th March, when more information will be available.

As soon as we have more information available, updates will show on this page.

UPDATE 21st March 2020

Department of Education updated guidance
A number of students are concerned about where they stand, now that A Level and GCSE examinations have been cancelled for the May/June series in the UK.

Ofqual are currently working urgently with the exam boards to set out proposals for how this process will actually work and will be liaising with teachers’ representatives before any decisions are made to ensure that this is as fair as possible. One possibility will be the calculated grade process and this will take into account a range of evidence including, for example, non-exam assessment and mock results.

The Department of Education understands that they also have to consider private candidates and are working closely with Ofqual to explore options for awarding grades to students in this category.

We are currently seeking clarification and are hopeful that this will be available shortly; we will then be in a position to advise students how they should proceed.

As detailed previously, students who wish to complete examinations at a later date will still be supported in order to do so.

UPDATE 19th March 2020

There has been an announcement that all exams in the May/June series have been cancelled in England and Wales, which incudes A Levels and GCSEs. Further news will follow when the Secretary of State for Education provides more information on Friday.

With regards to international A Levels and international GCSEs, Cambridge Assessment International Education, have quoted the following:

“Cambridge International exams – including Cambridge IGCSE, Cambridge O Level, Cambridge International AS & A Level, Cambridge AICE Diploma – are separate from the exams mentioned by the UK government today. Cambridge International exams will go ahead outside the UK in countries where schools are open or exams can be held safely.

For schools in England that take Cambridge International exams, we are working with the UK government to understand more about their intentions. We will provide more information to schools as soon as possible.”

We would also like to reassure students that any learners due to sit examinations in the 2020 series which have been cancelled, will still be supported until examinations have been completed. This stands, even if examinations cannot be taken until the following year.

We understand that further guidance on examinations and assessments may be available within the next couple of days as there is considerable uncertainty at the moment with the situation constantly changing, we will await further information and update this page when we have news.

If students should have any concerns at all concerning their studies and how recent announcements may affect them, please do not hesitate to contact Tutor Support, who will be happy to assist and provide reassurance.

For those who are sick at the moment and whose lives the virus, has impacted, our thoughts are with you and we wish you a full and speedy recovery as soon as possible.

Public Health England advice for staying safe during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic UK

Remember to clean hands thoroughly in order to provide protection against infection. The World Health Organisation, recommends the following:

  • Clean your hands regularly.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water, and dry them thoroughly.
  • Use alcohol-based handrub if you do not have immediate access to soap and water.

What to do if you have symptoms:

Stay at home for 7 days if you have either:

  • a high temperature
  • a new continuous cough

If you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms.

This will help to protect others in your community while you are infectious. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to contact NHS 111 to tell them you’re staying at home. Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home.

Only use NHS 111 if your symptoms get worse or are no better after home isolation.

Social distancing

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, steps should be taken to reduce the social interaction between people in order to reduce the possibility of transmission.

Public Health England recommends the following:

  • Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough
  • Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible
  • Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance for more information
  • Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs
  • Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media
  • Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services

For further information, please click here.


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Learn Now Distance Learning College
1st Floor, Town Hall
New Road


Telephone:  0800 160 1556

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Learn Now Distance Learning College is part of the Abstract Education Limited Group Registered No. 09330573, Registered Address: 1st Floor, Town Hall, New Road, Brixham, Devon, TQ5 8TA

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