Government to announce huge reforms to England’s GCSEs and A-levels

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The UK Government will announce huge reforms this week for pupils & students in England taking A-level and GCSE exams this summer.

The impact Coronavirus has had on schools means that some students have spent far longer than their peers have in school this year.

Figures from November 19th – the most recent available – show that 1 / 5 secondary school students were absent – predominantly due to Covid-19.

In a quest to make the 2021 exams more equal, we understand the government is considering the following options:

  • Pupils will be told the exam topics ahead of time to focus their revision.
  • Exam papers will be graded more generously.
  • Pupils will be allowed to take additional supporting material, such as books, will be allowed into exams.
  • Special consideration will be given to pupils who miss exams due to the pandemic.

However, there are some critics who have request that this academic year’s exams should be scrapped completely.

Wales has already cancelled GCSEs and A-levels in 2021, while Scotland has called off it’s National 5 exams (GCSE equivalents). As with many steps the nation has taken, England tend to follow suit in some way, shape or form.

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But for now, the government in England insists tests remain the best and fairest way to assess pupils attainment.

Critics fear that regardless of the changes to 2021’s exams, the most disadvantaged pupils will be hit the hardest. Which seems to the norm at the moment.

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Education unions have warned that adjusting the timing of exams and pushing them back slightly was unlikely to make any major differences to the varied learning experiences students have had this year.

After 2020’s exams were cancelled due to the pandemic, the government promised to decide grades with a mix of predictions from teachers and an algorithm that would estimate what the pupil deserved

But, when this year’s results were released, thousands of pupils found they had their results downgraded resulting in many missing out on a place at university.

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You may remember the government being forced into a U-turn and gave students the grades their teachers had previously predicted.

Mr Williamson has repeatedly apologised for the fiasco but refused calls to resign.

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