Tory MP warns of 50/50 chance exams could be scrapped again next year
Students taking GCSE and A-level exams next summer are facing 50/50 chance they could be scrapped AGAIN with marks awarded on teacher assessments instead, Tory MP warns
- Harlow MP Robert Halfon says Ofqual should make exams decision by October
- Mr Halfon warned students could have fallen too far behind while not in school
- Comments come as government faces continued criticism over its handling of exam results this summer which saw 40 per cent of results downgraded
Students taking GCSE and A-Level exams next summer are facing a 50/50 change they could be scrapped again, according to one Tory MP.
Robert Halfon, chair of the Commons Education Committee, issued the warning amid sustained criticism over the Government’s handling of exam results this summer and their wider approach to education during the pandemic.
The MP for Harlow told the Sunday Times MP he wants exam regulator Ofqual to be set a deadline in October to decide whether to scrap exams next year and again award grades based on teachers’ assessments.
Mr Halfon is expected to issue this message on Wednesday before delivering it to education secretary Gavin Williamson on September 16.
Conservative MP Robert Halfon has warned students taking exams next summer are facing 50/50 chance they could be scrapped and says Ofqual must decide by October
The Conservative MP argued the decision on next year’s exams should be made quickly so teachers can prepare.
He said: ‘It is 50:50 that exams go ahead next summer. Schools, the Department of Education and Ofsted need to work out…how much disruption there will be to pupils’ learning in the coming year.
‘Serious analysis needs to be done and then they need to make an announcement about exams within the next few weeks.’
He warned that students may have fallen too far behind due to months out of school and raised fears that a second wave could force pupils back to home learning.
It comes days after Boris Johnson fired the top civil servant at the Department for Education today saying ‘fresh official leadership’ was needed after the A-Level and GCSE exam fiasco.
Jonathan Slater has been effectively removed from his post and will leave on September 1, it was announced today, 24 hours after Ofqual chief executive Sally Collier resigned from her post in the wake of the grading U-turn.
Ofqual was heavily criticised for its handling of the process for awarding grades after exams were cancelled because of the coronavirus crisis as chief executive Sally Collier resigned
It means that of the people in the top positions overseeing the grading for exams that were not sat because of coronavirus, only Education Secretary Gavin Williamson remains in his post despite numerous calls for him to go.
Gavin Williamson is expected to be grilled on September 16 about this summer’s exams fiasco.
Ofqual was heavily criticised for its handling of the process for awarding grades after exams were cancelled because of the coronavirus crisis.
The regulator used a controversial algorithm to calculate student grades but it was ditched in a dramatic U-turn after it emerged that 40 per cent of grades had been downgraded below teacher estimates.
Mr Williamson had initially backed using the algorithm, describing the grading system as ‘robust’.
But student and parent anger forced the Government to change tack as grades were re-awarded based on teacher predictions.
The Education Secretary initially blamed Ofqual for the fiasco but later insisted he had full confidence in the regulator and its leadership.
Mr Williamson remains under pressure to quit over his handling of the exams debacle and a Government U-turn on the wearing of face masks in schools in England has also prompted further scrutiny of his position.
But the Education Secretary has previously indicated he had not considered resigning.
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