February 25, 2021 9.50 am This story is over 7 months old

Exams cancelled and grades to be decided by teachers

Teachers will judge grades without exams

School teachers will decide grades for GCSE and A-level students this year as examinations are cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grades can be determined by how the pupils perform in mock exams, coursework and essays within class.

Exam boards will offer optional assessment material for schools to use by Easter, and teachers can pick subject-specific questions to ask students, but not in an exam setting.

These test papers will help teachers to make their judgement, but are not timed exams and will not decide any final grades.

Teachers are expected to submit grades to the exam boards by June 18.

Results will be given to A-level students on August 10 and GCSE results will come two days later, earlier than previous years.

This is to allow for students to appeal their grades in August, leaving adequate time to apply for university.

Teacher assessed grades will also be implemented for students studying Btecs and other vocational qualifications.

The Education Secretary Gavin Williamson will set out his plans for the exam season in the House of Commons on Thursday.

It is the second year running that grades will not be judged on exam performance in schools as a result of coronavirus, though this year algorithms and fixed shares of grades will not be used.

Last year teachers were asked to rank students in order of their expected achievements in each grade band, but that has been scrapped for 2021 after protests and U-turns last summer.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a tweet on Thursday morning that “no child should be left behind” in their learning, as many students feel they are playing catch up as a result of being in lockdown.

Upon returning to classrooms on March 8, secondary school students will have to take two lateral flow COVID-19 tests a week and wear face masks when social distancing isn’t possible.

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