MP calls for 2021 exam delay

Wetherby MP Alec Shelbrooke is calling for next year’s GCSE and A-Level exams to be postponed by a month.

Tuesday, 9th June 2020, 3:44 pm
MP Alec Shelbrooke.

Mr Shelbrooke said he had been approached by parents in his constituency who are concerned about their children’s education being impeded by Covid-19 lockdown.

He told the Wetherby News: “Having spent a lot of time looking over various models of how we can provide catch-up time in schools, I came to the conclusion that postponing next year’s exam season by a month or so would be the best way, whilst causing the least disruption to school staff who have continued to work hard in and out of school throughout the pandemic.

“I’m pleased to see reports that Ofqual are now seriously looking at this idea.”

Lucie Lakin, Executive Headteacher of Wetherby High. (1501231AM)

But Wetherby High School Executive Headteacher Lucie Lakin said a fresh approach was needed to the whole process.

She said: “Rather than shift dates and exam schedules, we are presented with a real opportunity to revise how we assess our young people and in what format.

“Teacher assessment has played a significant role in this year’s accreditation process and the trusting of those professionals who know the children best is a welcomed way forward.”

She added: “The removal of school league tables enables a true focus on awarding individuals for their achievements rather than pitting institutions competitively against each other.

Boston Spa Academy Principal Adam Ryder.

“This eliminates the perverse incentives for non-inclusive and non-collaborative behaviours employed by a significant minority that have marred school accreditation over recent years such as off-rolling and ‘gaming’ the system and would allow schools to support effectively their pupils throughout the next academic year rather than obsess with “exam factory” approaches.”

Principal of Boston Spa Academy, Adam Ryder, said he expected the examination process for Year 10 GCSEs and Year 12 A’Level students to be challenging.

“It is quite simple, the more time our students have with the exceptional teaching professionals in our academy, the better it is for them and their families.

“This is not just from an academic perspective but a psychological and sociological one also.

“At Boston Spa Academy and The GORSE Academies Trust more widely, we would welcome any discussion with central government that places the young people within our school community at the heart of any future national plans so that they continue to be in a position where they excel in their studies.

“Undoubtedly, however, the process involved regarding public examinations for current Year 10 and 12 students will be extremely complex and challenging.”