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Assessments: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Education

UIN 136067, tabled on 11 January 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions he has had with the National Union of Students on changes to the 2021 exam season.

Answered on

27 January 2021

The Government has announced that, from 5 January 2021, schools and colleges have moved to remote education, except for vulnerable children and children of critical workers. In light of the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, GCSE, AS and A level exams will not go ahead this summer as planned.

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. Along with regular, pre-existing reference groups and roundtable sessions, meetings with both the National Union of Students and the Association of Colleges, including regarding Vocational Qualifications, have taken place with the Department and/or Ofqual.

A joint consultation has launched on how to fairly award all pupils, including private candidates and students taking vocational qualifications, with a grade that ensures they can progress to the next stage of their lives. The Department has strongly encouraged our stakeholders to respond to this.

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