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News: Government announcement - GCSE and A Levels 2021 summer exams

Students sitting exams
Students sitting exams

Yesterday (3rd Dec), the Government announced the plans they have put in place to support students who will be sitting exams and assessments next year.

Students will benefit from a package of exceptional measures to make them as fair as possible and to manage the disruption caused by Covid-19.

In recognition of the challenges faced by students this year, the new measures include:

  1. Grades will be more generous, in line with national outcomes from 2020, so students this year are not disadvantaged;
  2. Students will be given advance notice of some topic areas, covered in GCSE, AS and A Levels to focus revision;
  3. Exam aids - like formula sheets - provided in some exams giving students more confidence and reducing the amount of information they need to memorise.

Steps will be taken to ensure that every student receives a grade, even if they miss a paper due to self-isolation or illness.

Ofqual (Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) has outlined a series of contingency measures for students who miss a paper due to self-isolation or illness. These are:

  1. Additional exams to give students a second chance to sit a paper if the main exams or assessments are missed due to illness or self-isolation; If a student misses all their assessments in a subject, they will have the opportunity to sit a contingency paper held shortly after the main exams.
  2. In the extreme case where a student has a legitimate reason to miss all their papers, then a validated teacher informed assessment can be used, only once all chances to sit an exam have passed.
  3. A new expert group to look at differential learning and monitor the variation in the impact of the pandemic on students across the country.

Vocational and Technical qualifications

Students taking vocational and technical qualifications will also see adaptations, equivalent to those general qualifications. Some vocational qualifications will require more varied adaptations due to the different qualification types.

The Government will set out further detail on this process, and on adaptations to exams, in the new year. We will update this information as soon as we have further details.

Published on:
  • 4th December 2020 (11:04 AM)
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