Education Secretary of England Gavin Williamson announces in the House of Commons that GCSEs and A levels 2021 to delay till further notice. It allows students to have more time to prepare for the exams as long as the coronavirus pandemic lasts. This would permit schools to make up for the time that is passing during the lockdown.
Formerly, Williamson was adamant that the exam season for next year will go ahead. However, during the questions on education in the Commons, he suggests that govt is considering giving extra time to the students.
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Mr. Williamson will be consulting Ofqual which is the exam regulator for some extra time for holding the exams to help the students flourish. A similar proposal was announced in Scotland for exams.
GCSEs and A-levels for this year could not be held due to coronavirus pandemic but it was scheduled to be held 11 May or 15 June. So, the exam season for next summer may begin at a later date and go into July.
Although some students who are going to appear in next year’s exams have started to go back to school, A lot of their time is already lost and there are still some worries about how the teachers will be able to deliver the full course and catch up with the lost time.
The country’s Prime Minister insisted that he wants all students back at school by September but the experts have warned that it will be nearly impossible for all the students to get back to school at the same time due to the social distancing rules.
Current rules regarding social distancing force schools to divide students into groups of 15 hence doubling the class numbers. However, Williamson is hinting the groups of 15 may double to the size of normal classes with 30 students each.
This could be chaotic because if one student tests positive for covid19 then the whole group of 30 students needs to isolate themselves.
Moreover, Mr. Williamson suggested that he will give the outline of the plan for September by next week and insisted that he wanted every student belonging to every age group back to school.
Williamson announced a £1bn package to help students catch-up with months of lost learning due to the pandemic and also suggested that this fund would help children from the less privileged backgrounds to benefit from much needed extra support given to them through small tutoring groups.
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Rebecca long-bailey of the labor party suggests that the issue regarding students going back to school is just a confusion by ministers. And the major reason behind it is that they did not include teachers in their decision making.
More than 300k people are suffering from this deadly virus in the UK. During the coronavirus pandemic period, more than 4.5k people have lost their lives. However, it is much likely that it includes only those people who were lucky enough to get a coronavirus test. There may be millions of others without testing.
Although GCSEs and A-level exams could be delayed for next year’s exam season, this is good news for pupils as they have got more time to catch up on their three-month lost time.