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Education Secretary: GCSEs and A-Levels will absolutely go ahead next year

Education Secretary: GCSEs and A-Levels will absolutely go ahead next year
03.12.2020
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Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has said that GCSEs and A-Levels will “absolutely” go ahead next year.

Mr Williamson said he had “every confidence” the Government will be able to run a whole set of exams in the summer of 2021.

It comes after GCSE and A-Level tests were cancelled this summer due to the coronavirus pandemic and millions of students lost months of education when schools closed down.

Instead, students were given grades based on teacher assessments moderated by an algorithm.

But the algorithm was quickly discredited, forcing the Government into a chaotic U-turn with marks being recalculated based solely on teacher assessments.

Mr Williamson was asked on Sky News to give a cast-iron guarantee that exams would not be cancelled again.

He said even during the national lockdown there had been exams running and added: “Tens of thousands of students have been taking those GCSE and A-level exams all the way through that national lockdown, and that’s been done safely and securely and successfully.

“I have every confidence if we’ve been able to run a whole set of exams for GCSEs and A-levels during a national lockdown, we have every ability to run those same set of exams in the summer of next year.”

Mr Williamson’s pledge came as he revealed GCSE and A-level students will be awarded more generous grades to compensate for the pandemic.

Mr Williamson said pupils in England will receive advance notice of some topics ahead of tests, as well as exam aids when sitting papers – to ensure this cohort of students is not disadvantaged.

Additional exams will also be run to give students a second chance to sit a paper if the main exams or assessments are missed due to illness or self-isolation, the Department for Education (DfE) said.

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