Government is committed to GCSE and A-Level exams taking place next year, says No10

Boris Johnson is committed to GCSE and A-Level exams taking place next year, Downing Street has said.

Asked if the exams could be scrapped, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman told a briefing of Westminster journalists: “We do expect exams to take place next year.

“We are working with the exam boards and Ofqual on our approach, recognising that students experienced considerable disruption to their education last year.”

It is understood that options being considered include short delay to the exam timetable.

It comes after one of Britain’s best loved children’s authors called for exams to be scrapped next year to take the “tension and fear” away from pupils who have missed so much work during the pandemic.

Michael Morpurgo called for the 2021 GCSE and A-level grades to be based again on teacher assessments, as they were this year after exams were cancelled due to the coronavirus.

The War Horse author said: “Teachers know the children best, and to take the tension off it should be so again.” He said grading should be “teacher led and teacher judged”.

The heads of Birmingham and Sheffield Hallam universities have also called for A-level exams to be cancelled saying it would be “simply wrong” to waste time on assessment rather than lessons.

A short delay to the exam timetable is among the options being considered (PA)

During this summer’s exam chaos, students were given grades based on teacher assessments moderated by an algorithm.

The algorithm was quickly discredited and marks were recalculated based solely on teacher assessments.

Many headteachers are calling for papers to be pushed back from May to July to give students time to catch up.

The Government previously said it is considering a “possible short delay to the exam timetable”.


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