Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union, said: “It is positive that the government will consult with us and the rest of the profession in determining the best approach to awarding grades in 2021.
“Today the decision to delay next summer’s exam series by 3 weeks was announced. Having started this discussion in July, it is disappointing it has taken this long to get to this point when there are so many more decisions to be made. A delay is one step which could benefit all students giving teachers more time to cover the content. But along with the delay, comes a compression of the series, and we remain concerned about the impact of this on both student wellbeing and their exam performance.
“Announcing a delay is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the planning that now needs to be done. This step does not address the disparity between different student’s different levels of disruption to learning; much more needs to be done to ensure that the qualification system takes account of this so that students can have confidence that the grades they are awarded in 2021 are fair.
“The new commitment to making contingency plans is welcome; schools and colleges need to know whether they should be gathering evidence of formal assessments which might be needed where students are unable to sit some or all of their exams next summer.”
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