On 4th January 2021 as the UK went into a third period of lockdown, and schools across the UK closed again, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that this summer’s GCSE and A-Level exams would not go ahead and that further consultations would be carried out to determine how students should be assessed. There remains a high degree of uncertainty.
Since then there have been calls for the IB Diploma exams, and IGCSEs – which so far have not been cancelled and which are generally only offered by private schools in the UK – to be scrapped too. So what is the position with the IB? Will the exams go ahead in May?
Unlike A Levels and GCSEs, the UK government has no jurisdiction over the IB, since it is a global qualification overseen by a global body, the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO). As such, the IB is consulting schools around the world.
At the time of writing, this is the official message from the IBO:
“While at this time, Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme examinations are scheduled to take place in May 2021, the IB is currently talking to school leaders, teachers and government regulators regarding their local context, restrictions and the impact of COVID-19 on their students.” https://www.ibo.org/news/