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GCSE and A levels for 2021 cancelled in the UK and what that means for international schools.

Updated: Jan 24, 2021



On 4 January 2021, the UK Prime Minister announced the closure of schools and cancellation of most exams for the upcoming June 2021 examinations cycle. This has caused some discussion about the state of the upcoming examinations internationally. On 5 January, Cambridge International posted a statement clarifying what all this meant to its member schools.

“We work with schools in 160 countries and most of our schools are telling us they want to run exams in June 2021 and expect to be able to do so, in line with guidance from their national and regional authorities.”

Cambridge International

In lighter terms, Cambridge announced that they would likely close down any exams for their international network of schools for June, instead of delegating this task to the individual schools and government authorities. However, they also stated that it would be possible for schools to request exemptions for particular components of exams.

In their Exemption Regulations Supplement, they explain that schools may request exemptions for their students if a component required students to work with others in a way that wasn’t possible due to Covid-19 or required access to facilities or equipment. Examples of these include language oral tests and science practicals of which may be dangerous to perform in the current situation.

Other than that, however, Cambridge has stated that they would be going on with their examinations as planned if permitted and conditions in the area deemed safe.

In terms of the Indonesian Government, on November 20 2020, the Minister of Education and Culture (Mendikbud), the Minister of Religion (Menag), the Minister of Health (Menkes), and the Minister of Home Affairs (Mendagri) had declared a joint announcement to allow for regional and local governments to figure out the situation themselves. So although there has been no official declaration, and with Medan dropping from a red to an orange pandemic zone, exams will likely proceed as normal.


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