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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Students could still face 'externally set papers' despite axing of GCSE and A-level exams

Students could yet be given “externally set tasks or papers” despite the cancellation of formal GCSE and A-level exams.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has set out how he wants exams regulator Ofqual to jointly consult with his department on “alternative arrangements” for the awarding of qualifications this year.

In a letter to Ofqual chief regulator Simon Lebus, Mr Williamson said grades should be awarded “based on teacher assessment” using a “breadth of evidence”.

And the education secretary told Mr Lebus he would “like to explore the possibility of providing externally set tasks or papers, in order that teachers can draw on this resource to support their assessments of students”.

Mr Williamson added: “It is my view that the consultation should set out proposals which allow students to be assessed based on what they have learnt, rather than against content they have not had a chance to study.”

Last summer, Mr Williamson was forced into a major U-turn over the awarding of GCSE and A-level grades and ditched a much-criticised algorithm for “moderating” students’ results.

In his letter on Wednesday, Mr Williamson reiterated that, this year, “we will not use an algorithm to set or automatically standardise anyone’s grade”.

GCSEs and A-level exams were cancelled for a second year in a row following the closure of schools and colleges to the majority of pupils this month, as part of England’s third national coronavirus lockdown.

This post courtesy of sky

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