GCSE and A levels cancelled for 2021 as England goes into third lockdown
"This year we are going to put our trust in teachers rather than algorithms."
– Education Secretary outlines latest arrangements for cancelled GCSE, AS and A level exams in 2021 including teacher assessed grading
Teachers' estimated grades will be used to replace cancelled exams, Gavin Williamson announced today. He told MPs that lessons had been learnt in terms of the "impact felt painfully by students and parents" last summer after the last-minute ditch of the grading algorithm.
For 2021, he confirmed he was working in consultation with Ofqual, the exam watchdog, and exam boards to devise how teacher assessed grades would be "fine tuned" and training and support would be provided to teachers and schools to ensure the grades would be awarded "fairly and consistently across the country."
In terms of vocational qualification such as the BTec – the assessment for the majority of which is scheduled for this month and some assessments for some subjects even went ahead today – Williamson said it would be left to the discretion of individual colleges and schools to judge whether it was right to go ahead, adding "no college should feel pressured to offer these."
In his first Commons statement since England went into its third lockdown and schools closed, Gavin Williamson also thanked parents for taking on the challenge of home learning and outlined important data support packages available for key educational sites. He also confirmed there would be extra funding via the Free School Meals scheme for eligible children either via food parcels or a national voucher scheme.