School exams delayed

Most GCSES, AS and A levels will be held three weeks later next year to help address the disruption caused by the pandemic, the Department for Education has announced.

The summer exam series in England will start on 7 June and end on 2 July for almost all AS and A levels and GCSEs, and will be underpinned by contingency measures developed in partnership with the sector, according to the Government.

Cllr Judith Blake, Chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said: “We appreciate greater certainty being given to exam dates next year, but further consideration needs to be given about whether a single exam is still the fairest way to assess pupils who have been most adversely affected by not being able to go to school.

“Equality of access to laptops and the internet for online learning has been an issue for pupils, while the closure of schools will have an impact on all children.

“A fair and comprehensive assessment is essential in this most extraordinary year. Previous results and teacher assessments need to be taken into account to ensure children don’t miss out because of a virus over which they have no control, while the possible impact of local lockdowns and self-isolation levels on the quality of pupil education also needs to be considered.

“The needs of young people who have fallen behind in their schoolwork through no fault of their own should be our first priority. 

“Councils have worked hard with schools to keep pupils learning in the classroom and at home during the pandemic and want to ensure every young person’s exams are subject to a fair grading system given the unprecedented circumstances. We look forward to seeing further details on the contingency measures outlined in the announcement.”


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