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We continue to live in very uncertain times. The advice of our central and devolved governments across the UK changes regularly in response to the evolving situation and data, most recently putting many more geographies into the highest level of restrictions. In this context, Trinity needs to make informed and firm decisions about its operation and services.

Trinity has made the safety of all our people the number one priority during the pandemic. This includes our staff, as well as those who would normally be interacting with customers, most notably our examiners and those in exam centres; as a result, we took the decision not to offer face-to-face exams worldwide since the first lockdowns happened in the first quarter of 2020. That position has been extended to the end of 2020.

We continually monitor and reassess the situation; in consultation with the senior management group and key stakeholders, we have concluded that the environment will not improve sufficiently between now and Easter for us to plan for a resumption of face-to-face examining in the UK and Ireland. As a result, we have announced that the current position - whereby Arts Award standard and postal moderations are suspended - will be extended until at least Easter weekend 2021 and no face-to-face examining will be planned until then. We are taking this step now to provide clarity for the immediate months ahead.

This decision will cover all face-to-face exams across all our product suites in English Language, music, Rock & Pop and drama, as well as Arts Award. The only exception will be music theory sessions in February where customers will be required to ensure that COVID secure environments are available in order to proceed.

You will also know that Trinity has worked tirelessly to provide digital options for our candidates and teachers to engage with, both in response to the pandemic and as part of our ongoing digital strategy. Products are now in place for most subject areas across Drama, English Language, Music, Rock & Pop and Arts Award and we urge centres to engage with these as they are excellently conceived and as academically robust as our usual exam offers, as well as carrying the same outcomes in terms of certification and, where appropriate, UCAS points.

We will continue to assess the situation and announce our plans for the summer period in due course and continue to communicate with all our centres on a regular basis.