ASCL comments on EPI’s recommendations for 2021 exams

09/11/2020
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the Education Policy Institute’s recommendations for GCSEs and A-levels in England in 2021.
 
Commenting on the Education Policy Institute’s recommendations for GCSEs and A-levels in England in 2021, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
 
“We agree with the EPI’s recommendations over next summer’s exams, and indeed, we have ourselves made a number of similar proposals to the government and the exam regulator Ofqual.
 
“Unfortunately, we can detect no sense of urgency by either the government or the exam regulator to put in place any meaningful measures to make next summer’s exams fairer, or decide a back-up plan if things go wrong.
 
“So far, they have slightly tweaked the content of the exams and delayed the start date by three weeks to allow for more teaching time, and they continue to talk about a Plan B without actually announcing one.
 
“It is important that the public understands how minor these measures are in comparison to the disruption to education which has taken place already because of the Covid pandemic and continues to do so as students have to intermittently self-isolate.
 
“The continuing lack of a back-up plan is particularly worrying because any form of assessment which would provide a contingency option if students are unable to take exams has to take place in a rapidly diminishing window of time in which this could happen.
 
“Students, parents, schools and colleges all need certainty about what the plan is for next summer’s GCSEs and A-levels and they need it now.”