Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has said that most GCSE and A-Level exams in England will be delayed by three weeks next summer.
Mr Williamason said that exams will go ahead, but that the move to delay exams will “give students more time to prepare and a chance to catch up on education lost due to COVID-19”.
Announcing the delay on Monday, Mr Williamson said;
Fairness to pupils is my priority, and will continue to be at the forefront of every decision we take in the lead up to exams next summer. Exams are the fairest way of judging a student’s performance so they will go ahead, underpinned by contingency measures developed in partnership with the sector.
Students have experienced considerable disruption and it’s right we give them, and their teachers, the certainty that exams will go ahead and more time to prepare.
Student’s studies have, in many cases, been severely impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic, with schools closed to most students for months during national lockdown measures.
A crisis over exam grades also took place this summer, after a controversial moderation system led to thousands of students receiving grades that were significantly lower than those predicted by their teachers. The Education Secretary faced calls to resign and the system was eventually scrapped in favour of Centre Assessed Grades.
How will exam and results dates be different to usual?
- The Government has announced that the summer exam series will start on 7 June and end on 2 July for almost all AS/A Level exams and GCSEs. Usually, exams would start in May and be concluded in late June.
- The results day for AS/A Level exams will be on Tuesday 24 August, while the results day for GCSE exams will be on Friday 27 August.
- The Government has said that students will be able to start the following academic year as normal.
- There are some minor exceptions to the dates – one maths and one English GCSE exam will be held just before May half-term.
- It is expected that most vocational qualifications will follow similar timetables for 2021 exams.