Edexcel, formally known as Pearson Edexcel – London Examinations, is a multinational education and examination body owned by Pearson. 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 organization offering academic and vocational qualifications in schools, colleges and work places in the UK and abroad. It is also recognized internationally.
Edexcel was formed in 1996 by the merger of two bodies, the BTEC (Business & Technology Education Council) and ULEAC (University of London Examinations and Assessment Council). In 2003, the Edexcel Foundation (the charity which managed the board) formed a partnership with Pearson PLC to set up a new company called London Qualifications Ltd, which was 75% owned by Pearson and 25% by the Edexcel Foundation. London Qualifications Limited changed its name to Edexcel Limited in November 2004, and is now known colloquially as Edexcel and formally as Edexcel Pearson – London Examinations.
In 2005, Edexcel became the only large examination board to be held in private hands, when Pearson PLC took complete control. Edexcel subsequently received investment from their new parent company.
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). 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.
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