Students will be opening their results earlier than usual in 2021 (Picture: Getty)
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has outlined his plans to ensure GCSE and A-Level students have a fair grading system following the disruption to the school year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Summer lessons will also be offered to children leaving primary school and all secondary pupils in England as part of a £700 million catch-up package to catch-up on all the lost school time as a result of the lockdowns.
Exams have been cancelled for a second year running but Mr Williamson has now provided an update on how students will be assessed this year.
All schools in England will reopen on March 8 but what lies ahead for those undertaking GCSE and A-Level exams?
How will GCSE and A-Level results be graded?
School teachers will determine grades this summer by using a combination of mock exams, coursework and essays.
A-Level and GCSE pupils may be asked to sit ‘mini’ classroom tests marked by teachers.
Teachers will decide the grades of students in 2021 (Picture: Getty)
Last year, Mr Williamson came under fire for his handling of the grading system but he is determined this year’s students will be better cared for.
Thousands of students were downgraded in 2020 due to a controversial algorithm used to standardise teachers’ estimated grades.
Schools minister Nick Gibb said that the new grading system the government has devised is ‘the best system possible to ensure there is consistency and fairness in how teachers submit grades for their students’.
Will GCSE and A-Level exams take place in 2021?
While official GCSE and A-Level exams have been cancelled, students can still expect to sit mock exams if their school decides to.
Exam boards will create test papers for each subject, which are intended to inform the judgement of teachers, but will not decide the final grades.
With schools allowed to decide on how best to grade their students, mock exams, coursework and essays could all feature between now and summer.
When will GCSE and A-Level results come out in 2021?
Students will have the option to appeal their grades (Picture: Getty)
A-Level results day will be August 10, while GCSEs results are due on August 12.
Results are earlier in 2021 to create a ‘buffer’ for appeals, ahead of decisions over university places in the autumn.
Students will be able to appeal their grades if they don’t agree with the verdict of their schools and teachers at no financial charge.
Teachers have been told they can tell pupils how they get on in the test papers set by exam boards – but not their final grades.
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