Classification of External Candidates:

A private candidate in the UK examination system is a person who enters an examination but is not enrolled as a learner at the Centre (school or college) where he or she sits the exam. Private candidates are predominantly independent adult learners and/or home educated children. They may have trained themselves for the exam or been taught privately or at an institution which is not a registered Examination Centre.

However, the term 'private' often associated with 'private education' can be misleading in this context when referring to a whole variety of social and economic groups which can be classified more generally as 'External Candidates'. These 'External Candidates' are not registered with a mainstream exam centre, unlike 'Internal Candidates' who are.

The community which Home Educator focus on is very varied including displaced people, asylum seekers, and students with learning difficulties, disabilities, exclusion orders, social disorders, medical conditions and many more. Some individuals may have ended up as external registered students through difficult circumstances, and may still have close links with existing domestic exam centres through Local Authority services.

The most common policy by many exam office staff is to only support known 'private candidates' or 'external candidates'. These may be returning students, or students who have had some association with the Centre in the past through relatives and/or staff. The most common option adopted by many Exams Office staff is to support students who want to take exams in subjects already taken by the Centre and therefore can be more easily integrated into existing exam timetables and be covered by existing invigilation arrangements.

Therefore all learners who are not registered as 'Internal Candidates' and will not appear in league table results need to classified under the term -' External Candidate' which will cover the whole range of different needs and funding provision.