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We received an update from the Government on 5th January regarding the January Vocational Exams scheduled to take place from 6th January. It states, “In light of the evolving public health measures, schools and colleges can continue with the vocational and technical exams that are due to take place in January, where they judge it right to do so.”

It is our intention for students who wish to sit these to have the opportunity to do so; we understand that many of you have worked hard to prepare for these and have expressed to us that you are keen to have this opportunity to take them. At the same time, we fully understand that other students, due to their individual circumstances, simply do not feel comfortable sitting them at the moment. In these cases, we also wanted to reassure you of our full support should you decide not to sit them at this time.

In order to support your decision, we have included answers to some common queries we received. We will also be available to answer further queries and offer additional support throughout the next three weeks of scheduled exams on the following email (enquiries@richuish.ac.uk) should you wish to discuss this further.

Will the exam venue be safe?
We have put in place a range of additional health and safety measures to help exams run as safely as possible.

  • All exam students will sit in venues 2m apart from each other, and will have the option to wear their face coverings throughout the exam.
  • All invigilators will have taken a screening test in advance of the exam.
  • All exam students have also been offered the opportunity to have a screening test beforehand.
  • All students will sanitise their hands upon entry, and exam equipment/furniture will be sterilised in advance.
  • Exam venues will remain well-ventilated throughout.

What if I have to travel on public transport?
We understand that some students will have to travel by public transport to College in order to sit their exams. Current government guidance does allow public transport travel for this reason; nevertheless, we fully understand if you do not feel comfortable using this mode of transport at the moment. If this is the case, we will fully support you with this decision.

What if I live with others who are vulnerable?
We understand that many students currently live with others who are vulnerable to the virus. Current government guidance allows these students to sit their exams; nevertheless, we fully understand if you do not feel comfortable travelling into College for an exam at the moment. If this is the case, we will fully support you with this decision.

What if there is another reason I do not feel comfortable taking my exam?
We want to reassure you that we will support any decision, based on individual circumstances, not to sit the exam this January. At the same time, we want to ensure that students who wish to sit them this January have the opportunity to do so.

What if I decide not to sit the exam this January?
If a student chooses not to sit the exam this January, according to current government guidance they will have the option to enter the exam at a later point. For Year 2 students, they will have the opportunity to enter these in the Summer. For Year 1 students, they will have the opportunity to sit the exams either in the Summer or next academic year.
The government has also suggested that it is investigating other possible approaches to exam assessment this year; we need to be clear that, currently, we have not been provided with any further guidance from the government and are therefore unable to provide any specific details. Nevertheless, it is our expectation and belief that students should not, and will not, be put at a disadvantage should individual circumstances mean they decide not to sit the exam this January.

What next?
For students who wish to take up the opportunity to sit their exam this January, there will be no change; please simply travel into College ready for the start of the exam as previously arranged.

For students who do not feel comfortable sitting exams this January due to their individual circumstances, please contact exams@richuish.ac.uk with a brief email which includes your name, subject, and date of exam, to let them know.

We want to assure you of our continued support and full commitment to all our students, whatever decision they feel is right for them at this difficult time. We regret to have been placed in this position by the rapidly-changing national situation and are here to do everything we can to support you.