Ofsted chief tells schools not to give pupils extended summer break

Ofsted chief Amanda Spielman tells schools not to give pupils extended summer break with up to 100 days holiday, warning they will be ill-prepared for exams

  • Ms Spielman said she is keen for schools to explain how they use summer term 
  • GCSEs and A-levels are cancelled this year in favour of teacher assessments 
  • But schools have let students leave when study leave would usually happen

Ofsted chief Amanda Spielman is urging schools not to give pupils an extended summer break and warned it will make them ill-prepared for exams.

Ms Spielman said she was concerned that some secondary schools are letting GCSE and A-level students have 100 days of holiday over summer.  

She is keen for schools to explain how they intend to use the rest of the summer term to help exam students catch up on lost time during lockdown. 

Higher education exams including GCSEs and A-levels have been cancelled this year in favour of internal teacher assessments but schools across the country have still let pupils leave at the end of May – a time typically used as study leave. 

Ms Spielman (pictured) said she was concerned that some secondary schools are letting GCSE and A-level students have 100 days of holiday over summer

Ms Spielman told the Guardian: ‘Many pupils have struggled to learn remotely, and so haven’t got as far as they might otherwise have done. 

‘This leaves them less well-prepared for post-16 or post-18 education, so it is concerning that some pupils could be allowed to finish the term early.’            

‘We will want to know how schools are using the remainder of the summer term for these year groups.’

She is keen for schools to explain how they intend to use the rest of the summer term to help exam students catch up on lost time during lockdown

The Department for Education has advised schools that instead of study leave they should make ‘appropriate judgments’ which could include ‘remote provision combined with attendance in person’.  

A DfE spokesperson told the publication: ‘Our guidance strongly encourages all schools and colleges to maximise opportunities during the summer term to support those students to progress to the next stage of their education, training or work.’

Some headteachers have claimed that internal teacher assessments is too demanding for teachers so they wouldn’t be free to teach students anyway.   

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