Statement on exams in England

Gavin Williamson’s statement to Parliament on the closure of education settings during national lockdown, remote learning, exams and other COVID-19 issues.

Commenting on the Education Secretary’s statement to Parliament, Assistant General Secretary (Voice Community) Deborah Lawson said:

“We welcome the Government’s decision to use teachers’ estimated grades, and to  ‘trust in teachers rather than algorithms’.

“We await information about the level of support and training that will be provided to assure assessment consistency.

“We are also pleased that primary assessment (SATs) have been cancelled, which will significantly reduce stress and anxiety amongst teachers and pupils.

“The Government must also resolve the uncertainty and confusion over vocational assessment. Dumping the decision to proceed or not on colleges and schools leaves them and candidates in the lurch. Vocational and academic assessments should both be treated the same.

“We will continue to work with the Government and other stakeholders to address exams issues and others such as teachers’ workload.

“We are disappointed by the Government’s heavy-handed approach to mandatory hours of work, inspected by Ofsted, when schools are already pulling out all the stops to provide education for children at home and those who are in class.”

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