COVID-19: More generous grades, crib sheets and fewer topics: New rules for exams in England | UK News

GCSE and A-level college students in England can be given extra beneficiant grades and an opportunity to preview examination subjects, in a brand new bundle of measures introduced by the Schooling Secretary aimed toward making assessments “as honest as attainable”.

The measures, that are to compensate for disruption to education brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, embody examination aids – like method sheets – to provide college students extra confidence and cut back the quantity of knowledge they should memorise.

The announcement comes after the summer time’s fiasco round GCSEs and A-levels when 1000’s of scholars had their outcomes downgraded from faculty estimates by an algorithm, earlier than Ofqual announced a U-turn.

Nevertheless not all college students are pleased with the brand new measures.

Josh Aylott is a GCSE pupil at Bexleyheath Academy in south London. He says the method can be unfair.

“With earlier years, it was all the time the individuals who put in additional work earlier than the precise examination who had been anticipated to get a greater grade as a result of they labored tougher for it, however now it is like you are able to do much less work, after which simply earlier than the examination you possibly can see what you are imagined to work on and it appears like it may be virtually too simple this yr.”

Fellow GCSE pupil Max Sely questions what “beneficiant marks” means.

“Does that imply decreasing the grade boundaries? Giving out marks extra simply? They have not totally defined it.”

In October, the federal government introduced that the 2021 exams would nonetheless go forward in England, however that almost all of them can be delayed by three weeks, giving pupils extra time to atone for studying.

Exams may even go forward in Northern Eire, however in Scotland Nationwide 5 exams (the equal of GCSEs) have already been cancelled. Highers and Superior Highers ought to nonetheless go forward if attainable, however a couple of weeks later than regular. College students in Wales won’t take exams for his or her GCSEs, AS-levels or A-levels subsequent summer time, and can as an alternative have teacher-managed assessments.

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Again at Bexleyheath Academy, head trainer Graeme Napier says figuring out what subjects are to be examined will assist fine-tune the curriculum.

“I believe fairly plainly, we’re delayed than the place we usually would’ve been at this stage of the yr,” he says.

“The course we have been given at present permits us to make plans and get cracking to make it possible for the scholars which have already skilled disruption are in a position to put together for these exams.”

Beneath new contingency measures, college students who miss a number of exams on account of self-isolation or illness, however who’ve nonetheless accomplished a proportion of their qualification, will nonetheless obtain a grade.

If a pupil misses all their assessments in a topic, they may have the chance to sit down a contingency paper held shortly after the primary examination collection.

If a pupil has a authentic cause to overlook all their papers, then a validated teacher-informed evaluation can be utilized however solely as soon as all possibilities to sit down an examination have handed.

The newest Division for Schooling figures present that greater than a fifth (22%) of secondary faculty pupils had been absent from faculty final week for the second week operating.

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