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Education: Assessments

Question for Department for Education

UIN 105400, tabled on 17 January 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department taking to ensure that provision for exams will be made for the summer 2022.

Answered on

25 January 2022

It is the government’s firm intention that exams and assessments should go ahead this year. We regularly engage with stakeholders throughout the education sector and there continues to be widespread support for exams to go ahead.

The department recognises that students taking exams this year will have experienced disruption to their education caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. That is why, together with Ofqual, we consulted on and have confirmed a range of adaptations to GCSE and A/AS level exams. Exam boards will be releasing advance information about the focus of the content of exams in most GCSE and A/AS level subjects by 7 February. Other adaptations include a choice of content or topics and the provision of exam aids in some GCSEs. A range of adaptations are also available for awarding organisations to use for vocational and technical qualifications.

Additionally, Ofqual have confirmed that 2022 will be a transition year for grading. Grades will be set around a midpoint between 2021 and pre-pandemic grades.

This package of adaptations, combined with Ofqual’s approach to grading, provides unprecedented support to maximise fairness and help students reach their potential.

We have been clear our intention is for exams to go ahead, but think it is right that we continue to have contingency plans in place for the unlikely event that exams cannot go ahead fairly or safely, and have confirmed that students would receive teacher assessed grades instead.