BTEC exams will still go ahead in York.

In a letter to students at York College, principal Lee Probert said the current position of the Department for Education is that examinations in BTEC qualifications, will go ahead as planned – including those scheduled over the next two weeks. 

Mr Probert said: "For students in these categories, we will contact you directly about these exams.  Whilst this decision seems inconsistent with the wider Government message to stay at home, as yet, no alternative has been proposed.  I have lobbied our local MPs to support the Association of Colleges letter to the Skills Minister, and you may wish to do the same.

"Students who have education, health and care plans (EHCPs), are vulnerable or whose parents are critical (key) workers may attend the site.  If this applies to you, please email and let us know you would like to attend and we will let you know what the arrangements are.

"We know that many students may need to collect examples of practical work or portfolios to continue your studies remotely.  If you need to do that, please let us know first so we can agree an appointment with you.  Please email to let us know what you need to collect and we will let you know how to do so.

"We are putting in place arrangements for testing onsite, which is a further and complementary measure as part of our wider covid-safety arrangements.  These will be made available to students who attend for exams and for those who attend site for to access their learning.  Taking a test will not be compulsory, but since it’s possible to have covid-19 (coronavirus) without any symptoms, we would encourage you take one if offered it, to help us prevent the onward spread of the virus."

The awarding body that runs Btecs has said it will award a grade for any student who is unable to take this month’s exams and who has “enough evidence to receive a certificate that they need for progression”.

Cindy Rampersaud, senior vice-president for Btecs and apprenticeships at Pearson, has said no learner will be disadvantaged if a school or college decides not to run vocational exams in January amid the latest lockdown.

The online statement from Pearson said: “We will award a grade for any learner who is unable to take their exams and has enough evidence to receive a certificate that they need for progression.

“Learners unable to take their assessment this January may be able to take their assessment at a later date. If that is not possible, we will put in place arrangements to ensure you are not disadvantaged.”