2021 Reviews: GCSE, A-Levels Timeline Decision In Few Weeks – As Regulator Consider Online Testing If Lockdown UK News


Ofqual said a decision on whether and when next year’s GCSE and A-level exams will take place in weeks – and pitched the idea of ​​online testing if needed.

The exams regulator launched a consultation in July, which proposed to delay the start of GCSE until the end of mid-term, pushing them back to June 7 to allow more teaching time.

He said any changes would be announced in August, but he has yet to make a final decision on the timeline for 2021 and is still making contingency plans for next summer’s reviews.

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Ofqual has yet to announce a final decision on the timing of the 2021 GCSE and A-level exams

Asked by deputies on how he planned to avoid a repeat of this summer’s exam fiasco, when ministers decided to remove exams for a grading algorithm, the president of Ofqual suggested the regulator wanted traditional exams take place.

Richard Taylor told the Commons education committee on Wednesday that it was “absolutely essential” that students take a “fair comparative test.”

And in the event of a local lockdown, he said there are “mechanisms” – including “online testing” – that offer a solution.

Ofqual, which is considering whether to delay exams next year, has been consulting on the matter since June.

In a consultation paper last month, Ofqual found that 37% of respondents strongly supported postponing exams, compared to 8% who said it was a bad idea.

The response to the consultation on whether to delay exams (Source Ofqual)

The regulator said: “While there was general support for postponing exams, to allow more time for teaching, respondents were less positive about it if it meant a potential delay in results.

“We will continue to work with the Department for Education (DfE), review boards, regulators in Wales and Northern Ireland, and groups representing schools, colleges and higher education to envision the best approach, and we will confirm our decisions as soon as possible. . ”

It was August 3, and Julie Swan – the regulator’s executive director for general qualifications – told MPs a decision would be announced in the coming weeks.

Pupils return to Holyrood Secondary School in Glasgow for the first time after the coronavirus lockdown measures were eased on August 12, 2020. - This will be the first time since March that Scottish pupils will attend schools.  (Photo by Andy Buchanan / AFP) (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP via Getty Images)
Schools reopen for the start of a new school year

This means that staff and students face additional uncertainty with only two terms to prepare for GCSEs and A levels, having lost several months of learning due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mason Parkes, 15, who attends Bristnall Hall Academy in Oldbury, West Midlands, told Sky News: “It’s really tough and challenging… I would like the government to make a decision because we don’t know if we are doing it. will do later. or if they are only for certain subjects or if they are the marks expected by the teachers.

“It’s really worrying because we don’t know what’s going on or what to do, or what we’re doing. I hope a decision will be taken soon. I’m just going to try to put my head down and go over whatever topic I can. ”

Rajan Mattu, 15, added, “I think the government needs to make a decision pretty quickly so that we know what to do for our exams so that we can prepare in the right way.

“I wouldn’t prefer them to be delayed. I prefer to eliminate them and finish them. All we can do is work, but we don’t know what to work on. “

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2021 exams to ‘go ahead’ after rumors of delay

Education Secretary Gavin Williams, who supports the postponement of exams, on Tuesday told MPs the government is committed to the exams taking place in 2021, adding that it is working with the sector to ensure that “it be done as easily as possible”.

The job said next year’s exams are expected to be pushed back to midsummer due to the impact of the COVID-19[feminine[feminine crisis.

Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green said students entering Grades 11 and 13 face “a mountain to climb” unless the schedule is changed.

She said exams due next May should be delayed until June or July to facilitate extra teaching time.

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Some BTEC students still have not received their grades, Labor MPs Sarah Owen and Shabana Mahmood told Mr Williamson, who said the matter was being dealt with “as quickly as possible”.

“This is something that happens every year, and the number of young people who received their BTEC award was significantly higher than the year before, but there are some centers where there are still challenges,” a- he said.

Jeremy Hunt MP

Hunt wants ‘weekly tests’ for teachers

Ofqual came under heavy criticism after the ‘moderation’ algorithm he devised meant that around 280,000 pupils in England saw their A-level scores drop by a year or more from expected results.

The algorithm, used in the wake of this year’s exams being canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, has reportedly disproportionately penalized students in schools in disadvantaged communities.

The regulator faced further anger over its handling of the appeals process for students who wished to challenge their results.

In the aftermath of the controversy, Ofqual and the government turned around by dropping the algorithm and announcing that A-level and GCSE students would instead receive the exam scores expected by their teachers.


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