ASCL comment on Pearson Edexcel exam fees rebate

03/08/2021
Tom Middlehurst, Curriculum and Inspection Specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on Pearson Edexcel’s decision to give schools and colleges a rebate of 33% on fees for GCSEs and A-levels.
 
Commenting on Pearson Edexcel’s decision to give schools and colleges a rebate of 33% on fees for GCSEs and A-levels, Tom Middlehurst, Curriculum and Inspection Specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
 
“Whilst this announcement from Pearson Edexcel is welcomed, with all four awarding organisations having now declared their rebates we have a muddled picture that does not look fair to schools and colleges.
 
“Depending on which board schools and colleges have chosen to use they could receive anything from 42% from OCR or WJEC Eduqas, 33% from Pearson Edexcel to 26% from AQA. You do not need to be a mathematician to work out that some schools and colleges will be significantly worse off through no fault of their own and having done just as much work. This seems deeply unjust given all the work teachers and leaders have had to do that should normally be the job of exam boards.
 
“We have called on Ofqual for a formal review of exam fees this summer, the discounts provided by the respective awarding organisations and the reasons behind such significant differences. Although these rebates better reflect the enormous workload shouldered by schools and colleges in assessing students this year following the cancellation of public exams, they will leave many senior leaders disappointed and perplexed.
 
“The government now needs to step up to the plate and follow the example set by its Welsh counterpart in levelling up the discounts schools and colleges have received. Education leaders in Wales will receive an overall rebate of 50% thanks to the Welsh government’s decision to top up the WJEC Eduqas offering. The same should now happen in England.
 
“Education leaders’ confidence in the awarding organisations will have been severely dented by this summer’s bruising process and an Ofqual-led review must address this as we move towards normal service being resumed following the pandemic.”