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GCSE And A-level Exams In England Will Be Replaced By School-Based Assessments This Summer

GCSE And A-level Exams In England Will Be Replaced By School-Based Assessments This Summer

The Education Secretary has formulated a new assessment after exams were cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Kimberley Bond

Kimberley Bond

The upcoming GCSE and A-Level exams will be replaced by school-based assessments, Gavin Williamson has announced.

The Education Secretary told Parliament today that this summer's GCSE and A-Level exams would be cancelled.

He also said teachers will be legally required to provide up to five hours of online education a day during the third national lockdown, with Ofsted inspectors checking this was going to be delivered.

Exams have been cancelled (

"This year, we're going to put our trust in teachers, rather than algorithms," he told the House of Commons.

It was announced earlier this week that written papers for GCSEs and A-levels are not going ahead - after this week's decision that it was no longer feasible with so much time lost in the Covid pandemic and the latest lockdown.

The new approach comes following last year's GCSE and A-Level results, which were thrown into chaos when the algorithm adjusted grades - in some cases, by huge margins.

After protests by students, the government announced a U-Turn, with assessments now to be based on predicted grades by teachers.

Gavin Williamson has outlined new plans (

The Education Secretary admitted that last year's algorithm "did not deliver what they needed" and the impact was "felt painfully" by students and their parents.

This summer, a form of teacher-assessed grades will be used, with training to ensure grades are awarded "fairly and consistently".

Vocational exams, such as BTEC, are carrying on, if schools and colleges decide to continue with them.

Schools were closed on Tuesday (
PA Images)

But if students cannot take BTEC exams this month as planned, they will be able to take them at a later date or otherwise still be awarded a grade, if they have "enough evidence to receive a certificate that they need for progression."

However, the Education Secretary's announcement has been criticised for his sudden swerves. Labour's Shadow Education Secretary, Kate Green, accused the government of "chaos and confusion", adding Gavin Williamson had failed to listen to teaching unions.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, News, Coronavirus, Covid-19