Gavin Williamson to give schools and exams announcement in Commons TODAY

GAVIN Williamson will today reveal how the grades of hundreds of thousands of students in England will be awarded this summer in a bid to avoid a repeat of last year’s exams fiasco.

The Education Secretary last night said the Government would be “putting trust in teachers” after A-level and GCSE exams were cancelled for a second successive year due to the pandemic.

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PA:Press Association

Students in England will today be told how they will be assessed[/caption]

But he declined to give more detail last night – saying he would reveal the plan in the Commons this morning.

Normal summer exams have been ditched and teachers will instead decide what results students get, with the help of voluntary “mini” subject tests.

Results day is being brought forward to the week of August 9, so kids have longer to appeal grades before university begins.

GCSE students will receive their results two days later on August 12.

Assessments descended into chaos last year with the A-level results of thousands of students downgraded due to a controversial algorithm used to standardise teachers’ estimated grades.

Following a public outcry, exams regulator Ofqual announced a U-turn, allowing students to use their teachers’ predictions.

And last night, Mr Williamson confirmed an algorithm would not be used this year.

At a No 10 press conference on Wednesday, he said: “We are putting trust in teachers.

“That’s where the trust is going, there is going to be no algorithms whatsoever but there will be a very clear and robust appeals mechanism.”


Gavin Williamson will reveal more detail on assessments this morning in the Commons[/caption]

Boris Johnson announced the roadmap out of lockdown this week

It comes as the Government launched an advertising blitz to remind people of the need to still “stay at home” despite declining coronavirus transmission rates, the success of the vaccine rollout and the launch of the road map out of lockdown.

Under plans set out by Boris Johnson on Monday, England’s stay at home order will remain in place until at least March 29 despite the minor easing of restrictions and the return of schools on March 8.

 This morning, Schools minister Nick Gibb said exams remained the “fairest” way of evaluating pupil grades but that disruption to education during the pandemic meant that was not possible this year.

He told Sky News: “Of course exams are the fairest and best system for judging attainment.

“But we can’t have exams this year because of the pandemic and because of the disruption that many students have faced up and down the country.

“It wouldn’t be fair to hold exams this year and we trust the professionals – teachers are the people who know their students best and we do trust their professionalism.”

Mr Gibb said he was confident the “quality assurances” in place, both at a school level and exam board level, would result in fair results, with teachers to be given “guidance” about how to grade accurately from their relevant exam boards.

He added: “Of course, this is not the ideal situation to be in, this is a consequence of the pandemic.

“But it is the fairest system given the different levels of disruption schools have faced.

“We are aware of all those issues that think tanks and other people (have mentioned).”

He said grades would not have to be submitted until June 18 to give pupils more time to study following the disruption to their learning.


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