Education Committee chairman Robert Halfon called on the exams regulator to decide within weeks whether GCSE and A level exams will go ahead next year, following criticism over results chaos.
School exams could be scrapped next summer, a senior Tory MP has announced and he’s asked the under fire regulator Ofqual to conclude by October whether to press ahead with exams or to award grades based on teacher assessments.
It comes amid continued criticism over the Government’s handling of education through the pandemic, which saw ministers deliver a turbulent U-turn on A level results.
Teachers were asked to predict grades for students after exams were cancelled due to the coronavirus. However, some 40 per cent of results were downgraded by a computer algorithm, provoking an outcry over the impact on the fate of thousands of teenagers.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson originally stood by the results, before making a mortifying U-turn days later and Ofqual boss Sally Collier has stood down following the debacle.
Mr Halfon said that schools, the Department of Education and Ofsted need to work out how much disruption there will be to the students learning in the coming year. He further said that serious investigation needs to be done and that they then need to make an announcement about exams within the next few weeks.
He warned that teens may have fallen too far behind due to months out of school and boosted concerns that a second wave could force students back to home education.
It comes as Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said that children would suffer if they failed to return to school and that if a child isn’t in school, they stand to lose far more than just a few months of education and that it would be a tremendous dent in their future life chances.
He further said that education was a birthright, so he wanted to make sure that they get all children back to school, back to learning, back to playing and back to being kids again.
Gavin Williamson maintained he wasn’t intending to quit despite critique of his record, saying he would continue to graft away.
Teaching unions have blasted the Government for releasing crucial guidance for secondary schools in lockdown zones. The measures include plans for a rota system to reduce student numbers, something ministers had earlier ruled out.
The past six months have been a national catastrophe for education and Robert Halfon gave examples of what he thought had gone wrong in the handling of the coronavirus crisis for schools which he called in some ways a disgrace.
He said that there had been unbelievable efforts by teachers and support staff to continue teaching during the coronavirus school closures, but that not all children were reached.
And Robert Halfon added that they knew that, for one reason or another, millions of children had not been learning and millions of children had not had any contact with their teachers.