GCSEs 2021: Results will be a ‘challenge’ warn boards

Exam boards have raised concerns about whether they will be able to deliver GCSE results on time next summer, following DfE's three-week delay to exams
12th October 2020, 3:07pm

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GCSEs 2021: Results will be a ‘challenge’ warn boards

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/gcses-2021-results-will-be-challenge-warn-boards
Student With Results In Covid

Exam boards have raised concerns about whether they can successfully deliver GCSE results in time next year.

Their warning follows the Department for Education's decision to push back exam dates by three weeks because of the coronavirus disruption.

But boards are still expected to publish GCSE results in late August, on the 27th. 


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In a statement, the boards' Joint Council for Qualifications said: "Any change brings challenges and risks, and we have carefully weighed these in our conversations and highlighted where we have concerns, especially around the timing of GCSE results. 

JCQ added that delaying the start date of exams next year would make "trade-offs" necessary.

"A significant delay to the start of exams without significantly delaying results means that exams will have to take place in a compressed window, rather than being spread out to maximise a student's chances of sitting at least one paper per subject," the statement said.

"Even with a compressed exam window, delivering GCSE results on 27 August will be a challenge. We've raised our concerns with Ofqual and the DfE and agreed on regular reviews to see whether good progress is being made to overcome the challenges."

Today, education secretary Gavin Williamson announced that most GCSE and A-level exams in 2021 will be delayed by three weeks.

Dr Philip Wright, director-general at JCQ, said: "JCQ and the exam boards will do everything we can to help deliver a successful exam series in 2021."

He added that the organisation would work to support pupils' health and wellbeing, supporting schools with administrative challenges and recruiting thousands of additional examiners.

Heads have raised concerns over whether exams should be run next year because pupils who have missed learning time in school lack a "level playing field", although others have said exams must go ahead, in a letter signed by academy chiefs and other senior figures in education.

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