Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “The government’s last-minute approach has not worked for students throughout the pandemic so whatever solution the government comes up with it needs to be arrived at rapidly. It must command the confidence of everybody it affects: students, school staff, parents, universities and employers.
“The government must be prevented from repeating the mistakes of last year and provide students with two things: the reassurance that plans for 2021 will be something they can have confidence in, and a sense of hope their studies this year will still be meaningful.
"We have been told that grades will be awarded through teacher assessment with training and support provided to ensure fairness and consistency. But there is no detail. It is vital that the government and Ofqual engage with the profession immediately to develop a process which works and avoids the chaos of last year.
“Little consideration has been given to students due to take exams this month. Pushing the decision about whether or not to hold these exams onto schools and colleges is unacceptable. No answers have been given as to how grades will be awarded where students or education providers decide it is not safe or appropriate to continue with them."
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