Schools Are Using Scrapped GCSEs Excuse To Send 500,000 Students Home

More than half a million youngsters have been permitted to leave school before the end of the educational year, despite grave concerns over months of lost learning during the lockdown.

According to education campaigners, Year 11 pupils in most state secondary schools in England and Wales have not returned to school after half term in May.

Usually, these students, aged 15 and 16, would be sitting GCSEs this month and be on study leave in between exams, but because regular exams have been replaced by teacher assessments, pupils could have remained in school to catch up on work missed throughout the pandemic.

Instead, headteachers called an early halt to the educational year, giving Year 11 more than six weeks off before the official end of the summer term.

Dr Julie Maxwell, of campaign group the Family Education Trust, said, it was extremely worrying that young people that age had been chucked out of school early, and that without the safeguarding of school, they could end up, through boredom, falling into activities such as underage drinking and drug-taking.

The move to send students home comes despite teachers, heads and unions protesting that the Government’s 1.4 billion catch up pot for students suffering from the disruption to their education was not enough, and critics said schools were wasting a golden opportunity to help youngsters recover.

Professor Alan Smithers, from Buckingham University, said that it smacks of double standards, and he said that schools were effectively ditching Year 11, who are arguably amongst the worst hit by the lockdowns, while at the same time demanding more money to help students catch up on what they’ve missed.

Chris McGovern, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, said that the majority of schools appear to have already paused learning for Year 11 and that the move was breathtaking in its selfishness.

Amanda Spielman, the head of Ofstead, said the sending home of Year 11 pupils was concerning, and the watchdog will want to know how schools were using the remainder of the term to help Year 11 pupils get up to speed on the education they missed out on.

The action of numerous schools in England and Wales is in stark contrast to what’s occurring in Scotland, where the year group has been required to return to school after half term.

A majority of headteachers have chosen to keep their Year 11 students in school, saying education isn’t just about a set of grades.

And it now appears that the long summer holidays aren’t enough for staff anymore, and it’s pretty sad for the pupils, but the teachers will be thrilled, more money for doing nothing.

Numerous schools ceased in May half term, but it’s absurd the amount of time that they’ve lost – a year lost of education, and numerous students were told by email from their school not to return after half term. Thankfully some pupils have been able to get some work experience, but many have not.

Not only that, numerous students didn’t have a chance to say goodbye to their teachers, and maybe some have done their exams, but the next stage could be for the next stage of their lives, teaching children life skills, and how to handle money, or being in the workplace et cetera.

And I feel sad for this year and last years school leavers, because one of the measures is being able to cope under pressure and how well they’ve studied for such exams, and there’s been no measure of this for pupils for these two years.

And now, essentially, you won’t know who you’ll be getting in the workplace, a methodical well planned academic type or someone who just wings it, and it’s a genuine shame.

Published by Angela Lloyd

My vision on life is pretty broad, therefore I like to address specific subjects that intrigue me. Therefore I really appreciate the world of politics, though I have no actual views on who I will vote for, that I will not tell you, so please do not ask! I am like an observation station when it comes to writing, and I simply take the news and make it my own. I have no expectations, I simply love to write, and I know this seems really odd, but I don't get paid for it, I really like what I do and since I am never under any pressure, I constantly find that I write much better, rather than being blanketed under masses of paperwork and articles that I am on a deadline to complete. The chances are, that whilst all other journalists are out there, ripping their hair out, attempting to get their articles completed, I'm simply rambling along at my convenience creating my perfect piece. I guess it must look pretty unpleasant to some of you that I work for nothing, perhaps even brutal. Perhaps I have an obvious disregard for authority, I have no idea, but I would sooner be working for myself, than under somebody else, excuse the pun! Small I maybe, but substantial I will become, eventually. My desk is the most chaotic mess, though surprisingly I know where everything is, and I think that I would be quite unsuited for a desk job. My views on matters vary and I am extremely open-minded to the stuff that I write about, but what I write about is the truth and getting it out there, because the people must be acquainted. Though I am quite entertained by what goes on in the world. My spotlight is mostly to do with politics, though I do write other material as well, but it's essentially politics that I am involved in, and I tend to concentrate my attention on that, however, information is essential. If you have information the possibilities are endless because you are only limited by your own imagination...

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