“This year, we’re going to put our trust in teachers, rather than algorithms”, Gavin Williamson told MPs in the House of Commons on Wednesday.
Mr Williamson has announced that a form of teacher managed assessments will replace GCSE and A-Level exams in England this summer, following the announcement on Monday that normal exams would be cancelled for a second year.
The Education Secretary also confirmed that SATs will not be taking place in England’s primary schools this academic year.
Speaking to MPs on Wednesday afternoon, Mr Williamson said;
“Last year, all four nations of the United Kingdom found their arrangements for awarding grades did not deliver what they needed, with the impact felt painfully by students and their parents.
“Although exams are the fairest way we have of assessing what a student knows, the impact of this pandemic now means that it is not possible to have these exams this year.
“I can confirm that GCSEs, A-levels and AS-level exams will not go ahead this summer.”
A public outcry following the use of a controversial algorithm to decide grades last summer saw most grades reverted to those predicted by students’ teachers.
The exact details of the teacher managed assessments that will be used this summer are yet to be confirmed. Mr Williamson said that this plan had always been a contingency plan, but one that he hoped he would never have to use.
Teacher managed assessments are already planned in Wales, after they announced the cancellation of end of year exams back in November.