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Gavin Williamson reveals how GCSEs and A-levels will be graded seven weeks after exams were cancelled

LABOUR criticised Gavin Williamson today for his belated announcement on how GCSE and A-levels will be graded this year.

Ahead of schools’ scheduled reopening to all pupils on March 8, the Education Secretary said that they will be given wide flexibility in deciding how teachers assess and grade pupils, based on the parts of the curriculum taught during the coronavirus pandemic.

Noting that this year’s exams were cancelled seven weeks ago, Labour’s shadow education secretary Kate Green argued that Mr Williamson was, “once again, slow to act.”

She added: “Guidance from exam boards will not be available until ‘the end of the spring term,’ meaning more weeks of anxiety for young people and their teachers.”

Mr Williamson also announced that results will be published earlier than usual, with A-level grades issued on August 10 and GCSE grades two days later.

Earlier publication is expected to allow more time for pupils unhappy with their grades to submit appeals.

Last year, school assessments descended into chaos after thousands of students’ grades were downgraded by an unfair algorithm used to “moderate” teachers’ estimations.

Following a huge backlash, the Department for Education was forced to allow pupils the option of choosing their unmoderated grades.


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