Exam boards have confirmed that IGCSEs will go ahead as normal this year, despite other GCSEs and A-levels being cancelled, the BBC reports.

The vast majority of IGCSEs are taken in international schools and UK private schools rather than the state sector.

The decision not to cancel them was welcomed by the HMC, whose general secretary Simon Hyde said their schools "would be the first to cheer if pupils educated by the state had the same opportunity".

The international qualifications are offered by Cambridge Assessment and Pearson and both boards say they are planning to go ahead with exam papers for UK schools this summer.

In England, the exams watchdog Ofqual will launch a consultation next week on an alternative way to decide grades for the cancelled exams.

However, IGCSEs are not regulated by Ofqual and they will not be part of the watchdog's proposals.

However, David James, the deputy head of an independent school in London, said the move could create more problems for schools and students in the months ahead in the UK.

"Pearson and CAIE seem to be repeating the same strategy they adopted during the last lockdown: namely, respond late, say it's business as usual, and then, in due course, cancel the exams," he told the TES.