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MPs to debate petitions relating to school exams during COVID-19

MPs to debate petitions relating to school exams during COVID-19

Next week, MPs will debate two e-petitions relating to the handling of school exams during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.

This year, GCSE, AS & A-Level exams were cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown measures. 

Teachers were asked to submit their estimates of what they believed students would have achieved if exams had of taken place. However, A-Level results day saw a major upset, with nearly 40% of grades marked down from teacher predictions by a controversial calculation system. The following week, exams regulator Ofqual has announced that GCSE, AS & A-Level results in England this year will now be changed to teacher predicted grades, in a significant U-turn.

Two e-petitions will be debated in Westminster Hall on Monday afternoon, one of which will discuss the controversial moderation system used in the summer.

A petition calling on the government to "Review the decision to use previous data to calculate exam grades" received over 148,880 signatures, with students and teachers unhappy with the system that was in place.

Another petition is calling on the government to "Reduce curriculum content for Year 10 and 12 students who will sit exams in 2021". Signed by over 146,000 people, the petition says that the amount of examinable content needs to be reduced, due to the lack of classroom-based learning provided to students during the months of lockdown.

Responding to the petition, the Government said: "All students, including current Year 10s and 12s, will have experienced disruption to their education this year. Ofqual is consulting on measures to mitigate this through changes to next year’s exams.”

The debate will take place from 16:30 on Monday (12 October) and will be led by a member of the Petitions Committee, Tonia Antoniazzi MP. The debate will be shared live on parliamentlive.tv. 

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