As part of the government`s plan to avoid the confusion over this year`s A-level and GCSE results, schools in England will hold rigorous mock exams this winter.
The government`s “plan B” will set back the start of the next summer`s A-level exams, and possibly GCSEs as students will be required to sit for mock exams under controlled exam conditions earlier in the year.
In the upcoming week, Gavin Williamson is expected to announce the three-week setback and the new plans for the 2021 exam preparation amid tensions between the Department of Education DfE) and Ofqual, the exams regulator for England.
The misunderstandings have further worsened the delay in exam preparations for all students across England.
In the previous week, the Scottish government announced that instead of conducting exams for its National 5 qualification, grades will be awarded using a new system of school assessment. It will also postpone the timetable for Scottish Highers and Advanced Highers.
Leaders of schools across the country have expressed disapproval of the alternative plan, suggesting that it will mount pressure on students to revise for mock exams, instead of studying new material.
The chief executive of the Star academies trust, Hamid Patel said: “The issue is whether creating a high-stakes assessment like this will lead to challenges, such as generous marking or teaching to the test. This needs to be carefully thought through and should only be used in the exceptional circumstances where a pupil is not able to sit at least one exam in a subject.”
The DfE supported the idea of conducting mock exams with exam-style invigilation, marking and grading saying it is “the best and fairest way of judging students’ performance”.