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GCE A-level and GCSE: Assessments

Question for Department for Education

UIN 134391, tabled on 8 January 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department has taken to fairly assess GCSE and A-Level students who were scheduled to retake their exams in 2021 and having left their school or college are no longer able to receive a teacher assessment.

Answered on

13 January 2021

The Department concluded a successful Autumn exam series, allowing pupils who were unhappy with the grades they received in Summer 2020 the opportunity to sit them again. The Department understands, however, that some pupils may have decided to wait until the Summer 2021 series to take their exams.

In light of the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Department will not be asking pupils to sit GCSE, AS and A level exams this summer as planned. It is important therefore that there is a clear and accessible route for private candidates, and those not in school this year, to be assessed and receive a grade.

A rapid consultation on how to fairly award all pupils a grade that ensures they can progress to the next stage of their lives will be launching shortly. The Department will continue to engage with a range of relevant stakeholders when developing plans for our policy on GCSE, AS and A level assessments in 2021, as will the exams regulator Ofqual. A full equalities impact assessment, informed by the results of the consultation, will be published in due course.

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