|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
England, Wales and Northern Ireland;
Edexcel, formally known as Pearson Edexcel - London Examinations, is an International British education and examination board. Edexcel, the only privately owned examination board in the UK and part of Pearson PLC, is a portmanteau term combining the words Education & Excellence. It regulates school examinations under the British Curriculum and offers qualifications for schools on the international and regional scale. Edexcel is the UK’s largest awarding organisation offering academic and vocational qualifications in schools, colleges and work places in the UK and abroad. The British curriculum offered by the Edexcel International board is among the most taught at International Schools along with the curricula offered by Cambridge International Examinations and, the most dominant educational exam board in the international school sector, the International Baccalaureate Organization.
Edexcel was formed by the merger of two bodies, the BTEC (Business & Technology Education Council) and ULEAC (University of London Examinations and Assessment Council). The Edexcel Foundation (the charity which managed the board) formed a partnership with Pearson PLC. The board is now known colloquially as Edexcel and formally as Edexcel Pearson - London Examinations.
Edexcel also offers IAL, known as International Advanced Levels. It is offered only to schools outside the UK. It is considered by the UK NARIC (the National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom) to be of a comparable standard as the GCE Advanced Level. In addition, Edexcel provides the Edexcel International Diploma (ID) which involves the study of 4 A-Levels (3 full A-Levels and 1 AS-Level in either General Studies or Global Development).
As Edexcel is the only privately owned examination board in the UK, questions have been raised on whether the examination board is acting in the best interest of students, or solely as a profit making business, due to the wide range of officially endorced text books published by Pearson, the international multi-billion company who owns the exam board Edexcel.
Other controversies include:
2007: It was reported that teachers using Edexcel Music examinations were allowing students to listen to confidential listening paper CDs several days before the examination, by abusing the trust given by the exam board to only check for technical issues. Other exam boards do not allow the practice of checking discs, with AQA specifically instructing teachers not to open the packages containing the CDs before exams.
2013: The loss of an A-level C3 Mathematics exam being delivered to an international school in Amsterdam led to a replacement paper being published for the Summer examination series, however, 60 students in the UK took the original paper due to it mistakenly being handed out in two UK and two overseas centres, while the replacement paper was taken by 34,000 students. The replacement paper was criticised for including questions that were not present on the syllabus, and that the students taking the original paper would be unfairly marked.
2015: The UK's exam regulator Ofqual had previously branded Maths GCSE papers too hard, and ordered exam boards including Edexcel to reduce the difficulty of their papers, to cater for those with a lower ability in the subject. In spite of Ofqual's enforced alterations, students across the United Kingdom who had taken an Edexcel GCSE Maths paper expressed anger and confusion over questions that "did not make sense" and were "ridiculous", mocking the exam on Twitter.
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