I am sure constituents will be interested to hear the latest on the extra measures the Department for Education have put in place to support students and mitigate the impact of Covid-19 ahead of next summer’s exams. We were greeted with positive news this week that a vaccine for Covid-19 is being rolled out next week and as such we can go into next year optimistic we can return to normality across all areas of society.
This year has been extremely challenging for all student and their families - I want to thank every single teacher, Headteacher, support staffer and parent who have all helped our children get through this challenging year. This will be reassuring news confirmed by my colleague, the Secretary of State for Education, the Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP, in which he announced today:
Grades will be more generous, in line with national outcomes from 2020, so student this year are not disadvantaged;
Students will be given advance notice of some topic areas covered in GCSE, AS and A levels so that they can focus their revision;
Additional exam aids e.g. formula sheets will be provided in some exams;
Additional exams to give student a second chance to sit a paper if the main exams are missed due to self-isolation or illness; and
A new expert group to look at differential learning and monitor the variation in the impact of the pandemic on students across the country.
The Government has been clear: exams are the fairest way to judge a student’s performance. Keeping schools and colleges open has been a national priority throughout the pandemic in order to minimise disruption to children’s education and I absolutely believe this was the correct decision. The package of support outlined by the Education Secretary is a result of extensive engagement with Ofqual, exam boards and senior leaders across the education sector.
In his statement to the House of Commons on Thursday, the Education Secretary said the following:
“I know students are facing unprecedented disruption to their learning. That’s why exams will be different next year, taking exceptional steps to ensure they are as fair as possible. I am determined to support students, parents and teachers in these unprecedented times and hope measures like more generous grading and advance notice of some topic areas will give young people the clarity and confidence they need to achieve every success.”
The Secretary of State for Education’s full statement can be read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/extra-measures-to-support-students-ahead-of-next-summers-exams
I hope this is welcome news to constituents and I will keep you all updated on any further developments as and when they happen via my website