Official: A-level and GCSE 2021 exams replaced with teacher assessed grades

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Poll: Do you think it was the right call to stop A-Level and GCSE exams going ahead as planned?
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username5618356
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#1981
(Original post by Hellohsjakodsmka)
I'm feeling so unmotivated, I haven't done any work and I feel so guilty :/
Argh same... I feel the pain
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ektasmar
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#1982
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#1982
(Original post by bluebeetle)
Can you link the article? I can't find it.

Also, at this stage, nothing is definitely confirmed and things may still change. Personally, I can't imagine this one-to-one meetings thing working out. If I have to lose lesson time in order to do all those meetings, we're only going to miss out on more learning...
Also this might be the case that it substitutes learning for Year 11 and Year 13 students whilst Year 10s and Year 12s are getting prepared for next years exams,which is not a bad thing,as it is still keeps you engaged with your education in one way or another. Also,here is the link for the article: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/b...down-0v5zbz5bt
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bluebeetle
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(Original post by ektasmar)
Also this might be the case that it substitutes learning for Year 11 and Year 13 students whilst Year 10s and Year 12s are getting prepared for next years exams,which is not a bad thing,as it is still keeps you engaged with your education in one way or another. Also,here is the link for the article: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/b...down-0v5zbz5bt
That seems very unfair to Y11 and Y13. I don't want to stop teaching my Y11, some of them want to do maths A-level, they still have more GCSE content they need to learn before then. I think the best way to stay engaged in education is to continue learning, not having weird little meetings to negotiate your grade.

Could you possibly post the full text of the article? It's behind a paywall, so I can't find the bit you're referring to.
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ektasmar
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#1984
(Original post by bluebeetle)
That seems very unfair to Y11 and Y13. I don't want to stop teaching my Y11, some of them want to do maths A-level, they still have more GCSE content they need to learn before then. I think the best way to stay engaged in education is to continue learning, not having weird little meetings to negotiate your grade.

Could you possibly post the full text of the article? It's behind a paywall, so I can't find the bit you're referring to.
I tried but times did not let me have any screenshots because of that paywall feature.The screenshot I got was from the only person who managed to get a screenshot in his/her device on twitter so I cannot really find a way to take a screenshot
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bluebeetle
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#1985
(Original post by ektasmar)
I tried but times did not let me have any screenshots because of that paywall feature.The screenshot I got was from the only person who managed to get a screenshot in his/her device on twitter so I cannot really find a way to take a screenshot
That's fine, I found a workaround.

Having had another read of that section of the article, it sounds like they're suggesting just a single meeting rather than a series of meetings like you mentioned earlier, which is maybe more manageable, like a sort of parents evening but with the students. However, I don't think the article is suggesting that these conversations would entirely replace assessments to determine student grades. I think it's more likely that the conversation would be held so that students can be very clearly told where they are at based on current performance, and what the next steps are if they want to improve (e.g. based on your last assessment, you're working at a grade 5. Are you hoping for a 6? In that case, I need to see a score of X% or higher in this upcoming assessment).

But as usual, nobody really knows how it'll all work yet.

Edit: Also here is the article for anybody who wants to read
Spoiler:
Show
All schoolchildren will return to the classroom on March 8 under plans to start lifting the lockdown, Boris Johnson will announce in a national address next week.

Under the government’s blueprint to reopen society, adults will initially have only small new freedoms so as to prioritise the return of schools — a move ministers know will raise the coronavirus R number for infections.

Adults will be allowed to sit down outdoors for a coffee or on a park bench with one friend, or with members of their own family — a slight relaxation of the current rule, which permits outdoor meetings only while standing up.

Play Video
Boris Johnson on the easing of restrictions on February 22
The decision to reopen both primary and secondary schools goes against the advice of some government scientists. But the prime minister was swayed by faster than expected reductions in hospital admissions and infections.

The move to prioritise the return of pupils over reopening the economy will put the prime minister on a collision course with Conservative MPs, 63 of whom signed a letter this weekend demanding the lifting of all restrictions by the end of April.

Downing Street regards a slow easing of social distancing measures as the price it has to pay for schools going back. “Getting pupils in class is the PM’s top priority,” a source said. “We know that will increase infections and we need to move cautiously with everything else.”

A second easing of social distancing rules is expected at the end of next month with the resumption of outdoor sports — such as golf and tennis — for two people from different households.

Further lifting of lockdown measures will depend on the progress of the virus and the vaccination programme. A decision on when to reopen universities is yet to be taken.

There is growing hope that the vaccines will reduce the transmission of coronavirus, seen as a key factor in easing the lockdown. Downing Street is expecting data from Public Health England on the effectiveness of the vaccines as soon as tomorrow.

An analysis of the “real world” impact of the virus suggests that it gives 67 per cent protection against the virus three weeks after a single dose. Professor Tim Spector, of King’s College London, said that data collected from 50,000 people on a tracking app suggests that vaccines give 46 per cent protection after two weeks and 67 per cent after three to six weeks. He said he expects Britain will be in a “much better place” in two to three weeks time and can begin to ease lockdown restrictions.

“If that was around the country, then we’d have really knocked this on the head,” he told Sophy Ridge on Sky News. He suggested that schools in some parts of the country, particularly in rural areas, could reopen sooner than the government’s target date of March 8.

Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, confirmed that the government is trying to get all schools reopened by March 8 but refused to rule out a phased approach, with primaries reopening before secondaries.

“I don’t think there’s a high risk in relation to schools of children getting it, or even teachers and teaching staff,” he told Times Radio. “The risk is the transmission in the household that comes from it. On that we have just got to look at the evidence. We do need to wait.”

Raab said demands from Tory MPs for restrictions to be lifted by the end of April, when all the over-50s are due to be vaccinated, as “arbitrary”. He told Sophy Ridge on Sky News: “We’re not making what feels to me a slightly arbitrary commitment without reviewing the impact the measures have had on transmission.”

He played down suggestions that pubs and restaurants could reopen outdoors by Easter on April 2.

“It is difficult to say with any reliability where we’ll be in such a relatively short period of time,” he told Times Radio. “What I can tell you is that schools is a priority. On top of that non-essential retail. Then after that, given the wider risk of transmission, we want to get hospitality open.

Yesterday Johnson said he was “optimistic”, but added: “We have to be cautious. We don’t want to be forced into any kind of retreat or reverse ferret. Our children’s education is our No 1 priority.”

Last night teachers warned against the move.

Steve Chalke, chief executive of the Oasis academies trust, one of the largest in the country, with more than 50 schools, said he believed it was “impossible” to open all schools fully and urged a phased return with exam years brought back first.


“We should be driven by scientific data, not dates,” he said.

Ministers have drawn up a four-speed plan for restarting the economy, with all shops, pubs and restaurants open anywhere between early May and August.

The whole country will move together through a series of national tiers — which may be different from those in operation last year — with reviews every fortnight.

The “superfast” plan would see restaurants and pubs reopening in early May once all the over-50s have been vaccinated.

The slower alternatives would see pubs and restaurants reopen by the spring bank holiday on May 31 or by mid-June. The slowest route would be to reopen by August. A senior Whitehall source said that options two and three were most likely.

“You’ve got a most optimistic scenario to a least optimistic scenario,” a No 10 source added. “The dates will move around according to what the pandemic’s doing, the influence of the vaccines.”

Ministers and scientists also hope to be able to remove the requirement for the public to wear masks on public transport and in shops by September so long as the ‘R’ rate has dropped below 0.3.

Exam boards are to ditch plans to force teenagers to sit mini exams to help them decide their GCSE and A-level results, under plans set to be published next week. Instead the tests will be voluntary and teachers will hold one-to-one meetings to students about the grades they should be aspiring to in order to avert last year’s grades fiasco.


The Joint Committee on Vaccinations is examining whether to give teachers priority for jabs once the first nine vulnerable groups have had their injections. But cabinet sources think it is more likely that the vaccine rollout will continue according to age groups, rather than sectors of the economy.

Only No 10’s most optimistic scenario seems likely to satisfy Conservative MPs. Backbenchers in the Covid Recovery Group (CRG) have written to Johnson demanding that all pubs and restaurants are allowed to open by Easter and all restrictions lifted by the end of April.

The letter signed by Mark Harper and Steve Baker, the ringleaders of the rebels and 61 other MPs says: “Once all nine priority groups have been protected by the end of April, there is no justification for any legislative restrictions to remain,” on the basis that “these groups represent 99% of Covid deaths and about 80% of hospitalisations”.

Graham Brady, chairman of the influential 1922 backbench committee, also urged the government to accelerate its plans. “All of the metrics are positive and we have seen the infection rates drop rapidly since the New Year, along with falling hospital admissions and mortality rates,” he said.

Downing Street will make a judgment about the initial speed of restrictions when they see the latest data on the virus early this week.

Johnson and Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, will then hold a series of crunch meetings to determine the shape of the budget on March 3.
Last edited by bluebeetle; 1 week ago
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hiiiii1
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#1986
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#1986
Unpopular opinion, but wouldn't optional exams just lead to excessive grade inflation? Students will obviously act in their best interest (consistent A* ones would opt out, while those working to prove teachers wrong won't) so how exactly will they manage this? I'm already worried about unis giving out less offers this year.
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bluebeetle
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#1987
(Original post by hiiiii1)
Unpopular opinion, but wouldn't optional exams just lead to excessive grade inflation? Students will obviously act in their best interest (consistent A* ones would opt out, while those working to prove teachers wrong won't) so how exactly will they manage this? I'm already worried about unis giving out less offers this year.
I do think we'll probably see some grade inflation again this year, regardless of what approach the government takes. It's hard to avoid. However, I do think that if some students are able to opt in for summer exams, this will reduce it a bit, as it seems likely there will be some students who opt in for these who just don't end up doing as well as they'd hoped.
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username5618356
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#1988
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#1988
(Original post by bluebeetle)
That's fine, I found a workaround.

Having had another read of that section of the article, it sounds like they're suggesting just a single meeting rather than a series of meetings like you mentioned earlier, which is maybe more manageable, like a sort of parents evening but with the students. However, I don't think the article is suggesting that these conversations would entirely replace assessments to determine student grades. I think it's more likely that the conversation would be held so that students can be very clearly told where they are at based on current performance, and what the next steps are if they want to improve (e.g. based on your last assessment, you're working at a grade 5. Are you hoping for a 6? In that case, I need to see a score of X% or higher in this upcoming assessment).

But as usual, nobody really knows how it'll all work yet.

Edit: Also here is the article for anybody who wants to read
Spoiler:
Show
All schoolchildren will return to the classroom on March 8 under plans to start lifting the lockdown, Boris Johnson will announce in a national address next week.

Under the government’s blueprint to reopen society, adults will initially have only small new freedoms so as to prioritise the return of schools — a move ministers know will raise the coronavirus R number for infections.

Adults will be allowed to sit down outdoors for a coffee or on a park bench with one friend, or with members of their own family — a slight relaxation of the current rule, which permits outdoor meetings only while standing up.

Play Video
Boris Johnson on the easing of restrictions on February 22
The decision to reopen both primary and secondary schools goes against the advice of some government scientists. But the prime minister was swayed by faster than expected reductions in hospital admissions and infections.

The move to prioritise the return of pupils over reopening the economy will put the prime minister on a collision course with Conservative MPs, 63 of whom signed a letter this weekend demanding the lifting of all restrictions by the end of April.

Downing Street regards a slow easing of social distancing measures as the price it has to pay for schools going back. “Getting pupils in class is the PM’s top priority,” a source said. “We know that will increase infections and we need to move cautiously with everything else.”

A second easing of social distancing rules is expected at the end of next month with the resumption of outdoor sports — such as golf and tennis — for two people from different households.

Further lifting of lockdown measures will depend on the progress of the virus and the vaccination programme. A decision on when to reopen universities is yet to be taken.

There is growing hope that the vaccines will reduce the transmission of coronavirus, seen as a key factor in easing the lockdown. Downing Street is expecting data from Public Health England on the effectiveness of the vaccines as soon as tomorrow.

An analysis of the “real world” impact of the virus suggests that it gives 67 per cent protection against the virus three weeks after a single dose. Professor Tim Spector, of King’s College London, said that data collected from 50,000 people on a tracking app suggests that vaccines give 46 per cent protection after two weeks and 67 per cent after three to six weeks. He said he expects Britain will be in a “much better place” in two to three weeks time and can begin to ease lockdown restrictions.

“If that was around the country, then we’d have really knocked this on the head,” he told Sophy Ridge on Sky News. He suggested that schools in some parts of the country, particularly in rural areas, could reopen sooner than the government’s target date of March 8.

Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, confirmed that the government is trying to get all schools reopened by March 8 but refused to rule out a phased approach, with primaries reopening before secondaries.

“I don’t think there’s a high risk in relation to schools of children getting it, or even teachers and teaching staff,” he told Times Radio. “The risk is the transmission in the household that comes from it. On that we have just got to look at the evidence. We do need to wait.”

Raab said demands from Tory MPs for restrictions to be lifted by the end of April, when all the over-50s are due to be vaccinated, as “arbitrary”. He told Sophy Ridge on Sky News: “We’re not making what feels to me a slightly arbitrary commitment without reviewing the impact the measures have had on transmission.”

He played down suggestions that pubs and restaurants could reopen outdoors by Easter on April 2.

“It is difficult to say with any reliability where we’ll be in such a relatively short period of time,” he told Times Radio. “What I can tell you is that schools is a priority. On top of that non-essential retail. Then after that, given the wider risk of transmission, we want to get hospitality open.

Yesterday Johnson said he was “optimistic”, but added: “We have to be cautious. We don’t want to be forced into any kind of retreat or reverse ferret. Our children’s education is our No 1 priority.”

Last night teachers warned against the move.

Steve Chalke, chief executive of the Oasis academies trust, one of the largest in the country, with more than 50 schools, said he believed it was “impossible” to open all schools fully and urged a phased return with exam years brought back first.


“We should be driven by scientific data, not dates,” he said.

Ministers have drawn up a four-speed plan for restarting the economy, with all shops, pubs and restaurants open anywhere between early May and August.

The whole country will move together through a series of national tiers — which may be different from those in operation last year — with reviews every fortnight.

The “superfast” plan would see restaurants and pubs reopening in early May once all the over-50s have been vaccinated.

The slower alternatives would see pubs and restaurants reopen by the spring bank holiday on May 31 or by mid-June. The slowest route would be to reopen by August. A senior Whitehall source said that options two and three were most likely.

“You’ve got a most optimistic scenario to a least optimistic scenario,” a No 10 source added. “The dates will move around according to what the pandemic’s doing, the influence of the vaccines.”

Ministers and scientists also hope to be able to remove the requirement for the public to wear masks on public transport and in shops by September so long as the ‘R’ rate has dropped below 0.3.

Exam boards are to ditch plans to force teenagers to sit mini exams to help them decide their GCSE and A-level results, under plans set to be published next week. Instead the tests will be voluntary and teachers will hold one-to-one meetings to students about the grades they should be aspiring to in order to avert last year’s grades fiasco.


The Joint Committee on Vaccinations is examining whether to give teachers priority for jabs once the first nine vulnerable groups have had their injections. But cabinet sources think it is more likely that the vaccine rollout will continue according to age groups, rather than sectors of the economy.

Only No 10’s most optimistic scenario seems likely to satisfy Conservative MPs. Backbenchers in the Covid Recovery Group (CRG) have written to Johnson demanding that all pubs and restaurants are allowed to open by Easter and all restrictions lifted by the end of April.

The letter signed by Mark Harper and Steve Baker, the ringleaders of the rebels and 61 other MPs says: “Once all nine priority groups have been protected by the end of April, there is no justification for any legislative restrictions to remain,” on the basis that “these groups represent 99% of Covid deaths and about 80% of hospitalisations”.

Graham Brady, chairman of the influential 1922 backbench committee, also urged the government to accelerate its plans. “All of the metrics are positive and we have seen the infection rates drop rapidly since the New Year, along with falling hospital admissions and mortality rates,” he said.

Downing Street will make a judgment about the initial speed of restrictions when they see the latest data on the virus early this week.

Johnson and Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, will then hold a series of crunch meetings to determine the shape of the budget on March 3.
I agree with your interpretation. It’s hard to imagine teacher student meetings will actually affect grades heavily, it just seems quite unlikely and doesn’t seem to be in the best interest of anyone.
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Imane888
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#1989
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#1989
(Original post by bluebeetle)
Where is this from?

People have repeatedly asked you in this thread to not state things as facts when they aren't yet officially confirmed. The government has a habit of leaking ideas to the press to see how people will react. That way, they can pop in some idealistic ideas, and when they inevitably get shot down by teaching unions, the government can blame the unions and not their own ineptitude.
Hear, hear!
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S0FT
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#1990
Speculations does no good - let's just wait for the results of the consultation.

If you work hard, whether there are exams or not, it shouldn't make a difference...
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Akash1234567
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#1991
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#1991
I have two questions for the times:
Are the assessments voluntary for schools or pupils?
Will previous work be used? As a result of the article stating there will be an interview I assume they will.
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Muttley79
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#1992
Wait for the consultation result to be published - anything else is pure speculation.
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username5618356
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#1993
(Original post by Muttley79)
Wait for the consultation result to be published - anything else is pure speculation.
Is the consultation Feb 22
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Polymorphousperv
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#1994
I emailed someone who has it on good authority that there won't be mini-exams this year, and that students will likely liaise with teachers to help determine their final grades, with there also being voluntary exams for those who want to take them.
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helpme111
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(Original post by Polymorphousperv)
I emailed someone who has it on good authority that there won't be mini-exams this year, and that students will likely liaise with teachers to help determine their final grades, with there also being voluntary exams for those who want to take them.
so the voluntary exams will be the normal A level papers? Not voluntary mini exams?
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Polymorphousperv
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(Original post by helpme111)
so the voluntary exams will be the normal A level papers? Not voluntary mini exams?
The person I spoke to just said that all he knows is that there very probably won't be mini exams, that's all.
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Quincytellem
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#1997
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(Original post by Polymorphousperv)
The person I spoke to just said that all he knows is that there very probably won't be mini exams, that's all.
Key word “probably” no one knows exactly what will happen so it’s best to just wait till the official announcement
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username5618356
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#1998
(Original post by Polymorphousperv)
The person I spoke to just said that all he knows is that there very probably won't be mini exams, that's all.
Who is this person? Even teachers don’t really know what’s going on so I’d be a bit wary of trusting people who may not actually have any info
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Polymorphousperv
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(Original post by Waj-L)
Key word “probably” no one knows exactly what will happen so it’s best to just wait till the official announcement
Yes that's obviously correct. I just thought I'd mention this here to quell any immediate worries people may have. As I said, the person I spoke to has been liaising with the consultation group and government circles, and so is basically certain that there won't be mini exams.
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username5618356
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(Original post by Polymorphousperv)
general secretary of the ASCL.
Lol I didn’t really mean his name I meant like who he is as a job, you should probably delete that because it’s personal info about you
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