Lack of support for January exams 'unforgivable'

The government must set out how it plans to support the 130,000 students due to sit exams in January, says Labour
15th December 2020, 2:26pm
Kate Parker

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Lack of support for January exams 'unforgivable'

https://www.tes.com/magazine/news/secondary/lack-support-january-exams-unforgivable
Labour's Kate Green: The Government Has Shown An 'unforgivable' Lack Of Support For Students Sitting January Exams, Like Btecs

The government must stop neglecting vocational and technical education and set out how it plans to support the 130,000 students who will be sitting exams in colleges next month, the Labour party said today. 

Shadow education secretary Kate Green said it was "unforgivable" that the government has put no support in place for BTEC students sitting exams in January. 

"Colleges have experienced a decade of neglect under this government, which cannot continue," she said.

"The government must urgently set out what adaptions will be made to ensure the exams are fair for students whose learning has been severely disrupted."


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Coronavirus: Colleges to have weekly Covid testing from January

Opinion: Mr Williamson, why the silence on January exams?


In January, colleges will oversee the largest exam sitting to go ahead during the pandemic - and are yet to receive specific guidance from the government. 

Coronavirus: Fears of inequality in January exams

When setting out the plans for adaptations for next summer's GCSE and A-level exams, secretary of state for education Gavin Williamson said: "We will be sharing the advance notice about what exactly the measures will entail with schools and colleges at the end of January."

Labour is calling on the government to engage with colleges and set out a clear plan to make exams fair, addressing the different levels of learning that students have lost, and to review the financial support available to colleges.

David Hughes, chief executive of the Association of Colleges, said that colleges must be supported to allow the exams to be conducted safely.

"January will see the biggest set of exams since the onset of Covid-19 and we know that students have worked hard to be ready, even though many will have had their learning disrupted this term. These exams are also much more complex than academic exams, given the nature of technical and vocational education and training.

"Colleges have worked incredibly hard to keep learning and training happening, whilst keeping students and staff safe, but we are particularly worried about those students who have lost learning time. More needs to be done to ensure that they are not disadvantaged, with contingencies and allowances wherever possible and required.  This exam season will be a testing time for colleges, too - the additional costs and logistical burdens on them will be great."

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