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NAHT comments on Schools Minister's timing on consultation about exam contingency plans

Schools Minister Nick Gibb confirmed today that consultation will be launched “very shortly” on contingency plans in the event that in-person exams cannot go ahead in 2022.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “We have pressed for months for the government to provide information by the start of the autumn term, not only on adaptations to examinations for 2022, but also on its contingency plans. While we welcome today’s news that the government will start confirmation “very shortly” on contingency plans, we had hoped that ministers would have completed this by now.

“Students deserve clarity and staff need the information now so they can take it into account when planning their teaching for the new academic year.

“School and college leaders are already thinking further ahead in relation to the students who will start their A-level and GCSE courses this September, taking exams in 2023. They have had to endure a great deal of disruption to their education already, although we don’t know what the new academic year will bring.

“Even though 2023 might seem a long way off for ministers, schools, colleges and their students cannot afford for time to be wasted in the new academic year. It is not unreasonable to expect the government to be looking forward to 2023’s exam series to avoid the late decisions which have caused so many issues over the past two years.”

First published 07 September 2021