Written evidence submitted by Mrs Bakes


I have some comments to make about the shocking way external candidates have been treated over cancelled exams. It isn’t too late to rectify in part, so I would urge you to consider the suggestions I have made, particularly in relation to ranking and appeals.


I just want to politely point out that yet again, external exam candidates are not being considered when policies are made, and this committee is no different. 4 members of teaching unions are being asked to give oral evidence, but nobody from the home educated community.


My son and I were both registered to take maths GCSEs this year as external students.  Whilst the initial decision to cancel exams was understandable, the way external candidates were treated was unfair and discriminatory and had a seriously detrimental effect on our mental health and prospects. In short, the issues we faced and continue to face are listed below:







I’m sorry to say but at every turn external candidates have been forgotten. I had a number of conversations with people at Ofqual who really hadn’t considered the plight of external students adequately and had failed to consult with any representatives of home educated children. At one point I asked them who represented HE students and they gave me the name of an exam centre who they said represented us (the NEC). I spoke to the NEC and they didn’t know what I was talking about. Apart from anything else, an exam centre would be conflicted in representing us.


This has been a very unpleasant process for us and it continues. Going forward, there is still time to change the ranking system as suggested above and to introduce an appeals process as our stress continues until this is resolved.


June 2020