GCSE and A-Level exams CANCELLED: Gavin Williamson confirms students will not sit tests

Piers Morgan brands Johnson's handling of schools 'insane'

Mr Williamson said he would make a statement to MPs tomorrow to outline a package of support for young people following the announcement that schools and colleges will close to all but vulnerable children and those of key workers.

It is now vital that we support our young people at home

Gavin Williamson

In a statement, Mr Williamson said: “It is now vital that we support our young people at home, including making sure all students are receiving the best possible remote education, and that those students who were due to take exams can still progress to their next stage of education or training.”

The Department for Education said it recognised this was “an anxious time for students who have been working hard towards their exams”.

A spokesman said exams regulator Ofqual and DfE officials would work together to consider how to grade pupils in a way that reflects their hard work.

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

The spokesman said: “The government position is that we will not be asking students to sit GCSE and A Levels.

“Working alongside Ofqual, the department will consult on how to award all pupils a grade that reflects the hard work they’ve done and will continue to do.”

In a televised address announcing England’s third national lockdown earlier this evening, Boris Johnson acknowledged that shutting schools meant “it’s not possible or fair for all exams to go ahead this summer, as normal”.

The Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) – which represents almost 300 leading private schools – warned cancelling all exams this summer would be “premature”.

The organisation’s general secretary Dr Simon Hyde said: “Whilst it is important that the learning loss which some students have experienced is accounted for, and that disadvantaged pupils are not further disadvantaged, HMC believes that any decision to cancel all exams in England this summer would be premature.

“The best way of ensuring fairness is not by cancelling all examinations but by externally moderating assessment in whatever form it takes.

“We require decisive leadership and a willingness to compromise to bring about such a system. Our students deserve no less.”

Barnaby Lenon, chairman of the Independent Schools Council, said there is no “perfect solution to assessment arrangements for Year 11 and Year 13 pupils given the current course of the virus” and acknowledged there is a range of views across the education sector and “many students will be disappointed to lose the opportunity to put their learning to the test through traditional exams”.

Mr Lenon said: “It is now for the Government and Ofqual to work with education professionals to produce a fair system of assessment that will reward all our young people with the grades they deserve.”

Despite facing calls to cancel this month’s Btec exams in light of the lockdown, the Government has left it to school and college leaders to decide whether they want to go ahead with the vocational exam series.

The decision came after ministers faced calls to cancel the January exams.

The issue of whether exams such as GCSEs will go ahead in Northern Ireland has not been resolved.

It is understood the Education Minister will bring proposals to the Executive tomorrow.


Source: Read Full Article