GCSE and A-level exams have been canceled for this year.
Students in England will not be asked to do GCSE and A-levels this summer. Der Spiegel Online reports that the Department of Education (DoE) confirmed tonight.
It comes just a day after the nation instituted a third lockdown – messing up exam prep.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson had repeatedly insisted that the exams would take place in 2021 after thousands of students had their grades downgraded by a computer algorithm in last summer’s results fiasco.
Once again they are scrapped.
Tonight the DoE said, “It is recognized that this is a fearful time for students who have worked hard on their exams.
“The government’s position is that we will not ask students to complete GCSE and A levels.
“Working with Ofqual, the department will advise on how to give all students a grade that reflects the hard work they have done and will continue to do.
Williamson is due to present a statement to MPs on Wednesday introducing a package to help young people.
It comes after the announcement that schools and colleges will be close to all but vulnerable children and children of key workers.
He said, “I know what a challenging time this is for families, young people, and everyone who works so hard in education.
“I am also aware of the tremendous effort teachers and support staff have made during this pandemic.
“The benefits of this work to the education and wellbeing of children are simply immeasurable, and have made it possible for millions to be back in classrooms and spend quality time with their teachers.
“It is now important that we support our young people at home, including ensuring that all students receive the best possible distance education and that those students who are about to take exams can still move on to their next level of education or training.
“Education remains a national priority – these new national restrictions do nothing to change that.
“I firmly believe that this virus and the steps we must all take to fight it are not at the expense of children’s life chances.”
Johnson today declined to guarantee that all children would be back to school before the summer break – but expressed “optimism and basic hope” that things will be different by the spring.
All schools in England were closed until mid-February at the earliest as part of the last nationwide lockdown – with the exception of vulnerable youth and children of key workers.
The prime minister said at a press conference on Downing Street that there was a “prospect” that the lockdown could be eased in mid-February as he set his hopes for a swift introduction of vaccines.
He told the press conference that the public would understand that he had “no choice” but to impose the lockdown.
Defending the move, Johnson said, “It was clear we got into a situation where you couldn’t rely on Tier 4 to get the virus under control without really going all the way and that Asking people to stay home. ” and unfortunately also to close schools.
“That’s why we took the step that we took.”
When asked if all students will be back in the classroom before the summer break, the prime minister said, “We believe we can do a huge amount with the vaccination program to get the most vulnerable people out of the way of the virus.
“This clearly gives our country the opportunity to do things differently and to approach non-pharmaceutical interventions very differently.
“I am full of optimism and fundamental hope about the position I believe Chris (Whitty) has taken and I really think things will be very different this spring.
“I would certainly say that to every parent in the country.”
The English Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty tried to reassure the public that there was no evidence of increased hospitalization of children due to the new variant.
He said, “One thing we don’t believe is that this new variant is more dangerous for children than the old variant.
“For example, there is no evidence that hospitals are filling up with children.
“There is always a risk of infection for people of all ages, but children are relatively much less affected than other groups. This is one of the few good things you can say about coronavirus, and of course it will be important when schools return can . “
Concerned teens are waiting to hear how they are rated this summer.
Schools are closed to most students in Scotland until February after Nicola Sturgeon imposed a lockdown for the remainder of January with a legal requirement to stay home.
Schools and colleges in Wales will also remain closed until at least January 18 and switch to online learning.
In Northern Ireland – which has already been locked for six weeks – home-stay restrictions will be reinstated and distance learning time for school children will be extended.
Ministers were forced to turn around on exams last year after a public outcry that allowed students to stick to teacher-predicted grades.
Mr Williamson later apologized to “every single child” for disrupting exams and schooling during the pandemic.
The apology came after the government made last-minute changes to the A-level rating system in England, which created confusion.
Mr. Williamson’s department wanted to allow students to use their tokens to appeal if they were unhappy with their results.
However, in less than 24 hours before the results were published, schools and universities were unclear how the process would work.
One problem with using bogus exam results is that there is no absolute consistency as schools apply different levels of rigor and diligence.
Until two days ago, the summer exams had already been delayed by three weeks to give the students more time to prepare.
This week, Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green accused the government of “trembling and being late” in making plans, making schools difficult to prepare and causing great stress for students.
Williamson and Prime Minister Boris Johnson came under fire for pressuring schools to reopen in soaring coronavirus cases – until all schools were closed yesterday.