ASCL comment on OCR exam fees rebate

28/07/2021
Julie McCulloch, Director of Policy at the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on OCR’s decision to give schools and colleges a rebate of 42% on fees for GCSEs and A-levels. 
 
Commenting on OCR’s decision to give schools and colleges a rebate of 42% on fees for GCSEs and A-levels, Julie McCulloch, Director of Policy at the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
 
“We welcome this rebate from OCR. It doesn’t go as far as many school and college leaders would have liked, but it is a big improvement on last year’s rebate, and better reflects the huge workload shouldered by schools and colleges in assessing students this year following the cancellation of public exams.
 
“This is in line with the discount provided by WJEC Eduqas and a lot more than the discount of 26% offered by AQA with which we are very disappointed. We are still waiting to hear from Pearson Edexcel.
 
“We have written to Ofqual asking the regulator to conduct a formal review of exam fees this summer and the discounts provided by the respective awarding organisations. We feel that it is important to look critically at how rebates have been calculated and the reasons for large differences. This is crucial in retaining the confidence of school and college leaders.
 
“We have also written to the Education Secretary asking him to support schools and colleges in the same way as has happened in Wales where the government there has topped up the WJEC Eduqas discount on exam fees so that the overall discount comes to 50%.
 
“It would be helpful if the government could do this in England. It would recognise the enormous amount of work involved in assessing students this summer and help address the fact that school and college finances have taken a huge hit because of costs associated with the pandemic.”