COVID-19: Open Study College Student Updates

Keep up to date with the latest news on the Coronavirus and how it might affect you.

Updated 1st March 2021

Update on impacted students due to sit their A Level or GCSE exams this summer:

All impacted students will have received an email from us on Friday 26th February outlining the latest update. We are now in the process of contacting students via telephone who have already booked or indicated their wish to be assessed for grades this Summer. Please bear with us whilst we work through this extensive list of students and look out for a call from our exams administration department.

If you are currently studying A levels or GCSEs with us and have made your own arrangements for exams for this Summer, please contact the centre directly in the first instance.

Updated 25th February 2021


Further to the update from Gavin Williamson, Education Secretary, in The Commons a short while ago, Ofqual have released an update for private candidates. This update still requires further information from Ofqual and The Department for Education however, Ofqual have confirmed that private candidates will need to work with their school, college or exam centre to provide evidence in line with the sort of evidence that other students will produce. We are in the process of working with our exam centre partners to confirm how this will work for each of our students and we will be in contact with all impacted students individually. Please bear with us whilst we gather this information and be aware that we will be calling you via the telephone number you have provided with individual information on how this affects you.


A Level and GCSE exams update

Despite reports in today's press, no formal announcement has been made by the Government or Ofqual in relation to the assessments for A Level and GCSE students who were due to sit exams this summer. We are expecting an announcement in The Commons later this afternoon (25th February) with formal guidance followed up by Ofqual. As soon as we have received guidance from Ofqual on the impact to private candidates we will be in contact with each of our students individually to discuss the options. We know that this is a worrying time for students and parents and want to reassure all of our students that we are doing all we can to ensure our impacted students get the best possible outcome. We thank you for your continued patience.

Updated 6th January 2021

A Level and GCSE exams

The Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has this afternoon announced that A Level and GCSE exams will be cancelled in England this Summer. We are awaiting further details from Ofqual on what this means for private candidates and will provide an update to our students as soon as we are able to confirm how this impacts those studying via distance learning. In the meantime, we encourage all of our students to continue through their studies and submit their tutor marked assessments as appropriate.

Updated 5th January 2021

Lockdown 3.0

Update for OSC students following the government announcement last night. We will be operating as normal and we aim for there to be as little disruption to our services as possible.

From 6th January our learner services phone lines will be open between 10am and 2pm until further notice. If you have a query, please email and request a call back.

We are working with our exam centres and Ofqual to find a solution for private candidates due to sit their exams in summer 2021.

Despite what may be communicated in the media, private candidates will have different criteria set to those who are in mainstream schooling, and there may be requirements for additional forms of assessment so it is important you continue to study as normal and submit your TMA’s to your tutor as required.

We will communicate further guidance once this has been issued by Ofqual and have worked through this guidance with our partner exam centres.

Students who were due to sit their exams this summer should continue to study and submit their tutor marked assessments (TMAs) as required.

If you have made arrangements for your exams yourself, you will need to contact your chosen exam centre once guidance has been released to discuss the next steps.

Remember, we've been here before and we'll get through this again together. Take care and stay safe.

Updated 4th November 2020

Lockdown 2.0

Ahead of the month-long lockdown starting on 5th November 2020, we wanted to assure you that the OSC family are still here for you.

Our advisers, tutors, learner services team and course delivery service will still be running as normal. Please give us a call if you have any questions at all during this time.

GCSE and A Level Students

For A Level and GCSE exams being held this Autumn, Ofqual have now confirmed the following timescales: 

  • A Level exams will take place between Monday 5th October and Friday 23rd October 
  • GCSE exams will take place between Monday 2nd November and Monday 23rd November.  

It is expected that the examination boards will confirm the specific exam timetable for each subject by the end of July.  

Updated 10th July 2020

GCSE and A Level Students

Firstly, we understand that it has been frustrating waiting for updates regarding 2020 exams, so we wanted to thank you for your patience during these difficult times.

We have now received confirmation from Ofqual that they intend to hold exams this Autumn, however we are yet to receive any further information on dates.

Due to the timescales currently being unknown, we want to ensure that we can act as quickly as possible on your behalf once exam dates are released.

You will have been contacted by email. There are three options for you

  • Option 1 – you wish to sit your exams in the Autumn if they go ahead as expected.
  • Option 2 – you wish to defer your entry to Summer 2021. Please note that if you have already completed your practical endorsement (if applicable to your course), then these will remain valid and you will not need to complete them again.
  • Option 3 – you wish to withdraw your entry for now. If you choose this option you will not have a place reserved for the 2021 exam period, but you can still sit your exam at a later date if you wish to do so.

Students should respond to this email and confirm which of the three options above you wish to select by 30th July.

If you choose option 1, we will be in touch with more information once Ofqual have released further information regarding exam dates or if their plans change.

Updated 3rd April 2020

We have today received further clarification from Ofqual in relation to A Level and GCSE students who will no longer be able to sit their exams this summer. For private candidates, there is still further exploration that Ofqual are undertaking to provide a fair solution. We are also digesting the information that Ofqual has provided to allow us to make an informed decision about our students.

Ofqual have advised that it is unlikely that all private candidates will be issued with a grade this summer but they are exploring the possibility of holding exams in the Autumn for those students who were booked to sit exams in May/June.

Both we and Ofqual appreciate that this is of real concern to students and we are working very closely with Ofqual and other educational organisations to get the best possible outcome for our students. We are expecting to have a further update next week and will be in direct contact with those students affected.

Updated 24th March 2020

From Wednesday 25th March until further notice, we have new opening hours.

General enquiries: Mon-Fri (9am-5pm). Sat (11am-5pm) via our usual number: 03300 563100.

You can also get in touch with us through our website and live chat.

If you are an existing student, our learner services team will be available through email only. Please email, and our lovely learner services team will get back to you as soon as they can.

Updated 24th March 2020

Following the announcement from PM Boris Johnson last night, we have put measures in place to ensure you still receive the same level of care and customer service whilst also making sure our OSC family remain safe.

We want to assure you that we are still here for you during this difficult time, our support teams and tutors are working remotely to ensure your study with us remains uninterrupted.

Our phone lines will be closed for a day on 24th March 2020 to allow us to make the necessary alterations to avoid minimal disruption to our service. However, during this time, you can still contact us via email and live chat and we will get back to you as soon as possible:

General enquiries:

Learner Services:

Updated 19th March 2020

A Level and GCSE Students

Following the government update yesterday we are aware that A Level and GCSE exams will no longer be taking place in May and June this year due to schools being closed.

We are monitoring the news and working closely with our exam boards and centres. Please bear with us while we wait to receive further instructions and we will update you as soon as possible.


CACHE placement students

Following the government update yesterday regarding school closures, Open Study College will provide free extensions based on the period of time lost whilst the schools are closed.

You can complete knowledge-based assignments and still submit them to your tutor to be marked if you wish. However, bear in mind that some work cannot be completed unless you are on placement.

We are monitoring the news and working closely with CACHE and will provide more details once we have further information.


We want to reassure our students that we are here for you and we have put measures in place to maintain the same high level of service you would normally receive.


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Open Study College

Open Study College (OSC) have been leading the way in distance learning since 2007. Our team comprises of expert tutors, knowledgeable student advisers and a friendly student support team. Between us we have decades upon decades of experience in education and remote learning. Our blog is designed to help and guide you along the right path for you, by providing information, helpful tips and inspirational student success stories.

COVID-19: Open Study College Student Updates