Williamson advises MPs that he has asked Ofqual to come up with a plan to replace GCSEs and degrees

According to the plans considered by Gavin Williamson, exams in core subjects could still be carried out in England this summer despite the extended ban

The Education Minister will issue a statement in the House of Commons on Wednesday after the Prime Minister called for schools to be closed, saying the summer exams will likely be canceled as part of a third national lockdown

Williamson will tell MPs that he has directed England’s examination board Ofqual to work out a contingency plan to replace this year’s GCSEs and high school graduation exams, which the government wanted to keep despite concerns about student learning loss during the pandemic >

One of the options considered is holding exams in core subjects such as English, math, and possibly science at the GCSE with school-graded grades for other subjects However, there are concerns that this could lead students to neglect unexamined courses. Ministers also fear that without the objective of exams, students could stop engaging in their studies

It is understood that Ofqual may also consider online assessments as a possible option, although access to laptops in schools continues to be an issue.Teachers could also be asked to create and rate portfolios of students’ work , a sample of which could be moderated externally to ensure fair grades

The government will desperately try to avoid repeating last year’s exams fiasco, when ministers canceled the exams and then were forced to cancel the GCSE and A-level grades generated by an Ofqual algorithm Eventually resorted to school-graded grades and created havoc for university admission

Cabinet minister Michael Gove told Sky News on Tuesday, “Obviously we can’t have degrees, GCSEs or BTecs as we have had in the past, but there are ways we can ensure the job done.” rate the students, give them fair credit for it and help them move to the next level of their education ”

Before the final lockdown was announced, the government resisted calls for the summer exams to be canceled for the second year running Williamson said last month he could “absolutely” give a cast iron guarantee that the exams would take place in England

The vow came when Williamson revealed plans that students would be given advance notice of topics and include exam aids, including formula sheets

When asked about plans for summer assessments, an Ofqual spokesperson said, “We know how difficult this must be for students, teachers and faculty. We want to make arrangements for the GCSEs, high school diplomas and professional and technical qualifications at all costs Avoid summers that add further disadvantages to students We are considering a number of options in order to get the fairest possible result given the circumstances ”

Meanwhile, college leaders in England have urged the government to cancel this month’s professional exams due to begin this week, saying it is neither safe nor tenable to move forward under a national lockdown

Hundreds of thousands of students to take vocational exams in schools and colleges this month Boris Johnson announced the lockdown last night, saying the exams should go as planned

Association of Colleges executive director David Hughes has written to Secretary of Skills and Apprenticeship Gillian Keegan calling for an urgent rethinking, saying the prime minister’s message is that everyone should stay home to clear the virus defeat

Hughes added, “It is simply untenable to ask college staff and students to ignore this message in order to take exams. It is obviously not safe for them and their families, even with the best remedial measures a college puts in place can continue this series of exams now would also be unfair for students ”

Abitur 2021, GCSE

World News – UK – There may still be exams in core subjects in England this summer

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2021/jan/05/exams-in-core-subjects-may-still-go-ahead-in-england-this-summer