Private candidates will be assessed this year on a range of evidence, in a similar way to other students. Centres will have considerable flexibility to determine the appropriate range of evidence.
A full list of centres accepting private candidates will be made available by the end of March 2021 on the JCQ website and the entry deadline has been extended to 26 April 2021 for centres to make entries without incurring extra charges
If your private candidates would like more information on the arrangements for summer 2021, we have a dedicated page for private candidates on our website.
FAQs from the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ)
Who is classed as a private candidate?
Private candidates are candidates who have not studied with the exam centre which makes their entry. Included in this group are, for example:
- School age students who have been home-educated;
- Adults who have studied independently;
- Students who have studied with a distance learning provider which does not offer exam entry;
This guidance also applies to students at a school or college who have studied an additional subject outside of the school or college, and to former students who have returned to their school or college to resit a qualification.
If I have made a private candidate entry and the student wants to move to a new centre, will I be charged for withdrawing the entry?
No, awarding organisations will not apply charges for withdrawing an entry up to 26 April. We would encourage centres to be as flexible as possible in allowing students to change centres if they wish to.
If I accept a student after 31 March, can I still submit an access arrangement application?
Yes, an online application may be processed after 31 March provided the candidate meets the published criteria for the arrangement and the full supporting evidence is in place for inspection.
If one of my internal candidates wants to enter for a subject which they have not studied with us, are they classed as a private candidate?
Yes, the private candidate assessment guidance has been written to apply to this situation.
If a student that used to attend my centre wants to return to take a qualification but have not been studying with us, are they classed as a private candidate?
Yes, the private candidate assessment guidance has been written to apply to this situation, including where the student is resitting. Please see the DfE guidance for when a student can be included in a centres claim for funding.
If a private candidate submits a piece of work they have produced completely independently, how can I validate that it is the student’s own work?
If the evidence was produced entirely independently, or set by the student’s parent or family member, it should not be accepted. This is explained in the guidance.
I have an internal candidate who is taking an additional subject not taught in my centre. Does this guidance apply?
Yes, these students are included in the definition of private candidates for the purpose of assessment this summer, but only for the subject which is not taught in your centre. However, you will not be able to use the private candidate flag for their entry as a candidate cannot be classed as both internal and private in the same series.
I am a DLP and have taught the candidate, but they would normally take their exam elsewhere. Should I use the private candidate flag when making their entry?
Yes, please flag these candidates as private candidates when you make their entries.
How do appeals and quality assurance work for private candidates?
Guidance on the assessment process for all candidates, including private candidates, is available at this link: https://www.jcq.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/JCQ-Guidance-on-the-Determination-of-Grades-for-A-AS-Levels-and-GCSEs-Summer-2021.pdf