Cancel GCSEs and A Levels in 2021

The Government should cancel GCSEs and A Levels in 2021 due to the disruption of Covid-19. By the time students go back to normal learning, 6 months will have passed since schools were closed to most pupils. This has already had a huge impact on the studying of so many.

This petition closed on 19 Feb 2021 with 211,974 signatures


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Recent Documents related to Cancel GCSEs and A Levels in 2021

1. Awarding qualifications in summer 2020
03/04/2020 - Ofqual
- View source

Found: Extension Award in maths Guidance for teachers , students, parents and carers Summer 2020 grades for GCSE

2. Consultation on alternative arrangements for the award of VTQs and other general qualifications in 2021
15/01/2021 - Department for Education
- View source

Found: award of VTQs and other general qualifications in 2021 Approach to awarding qualifications where exams

3. Consultation on alternative arrangements for the award of VTQs and other general qualifications in 2021
15/01/2021 - Ofqual
- View source

Found: award of VTQs and other general qualifications in 2021 Approach to awarding qualifications where exams

4. Direction issued to Ofqual
25/02/2021 - Department for Education
- View source

Found: February 2021 DIRECTION UNDER S 129(6) OF THE APPRENTICESHIPS, SKILLS, CHILDREN AND LEARNING ACT 2009

5. guidance
12/01/2021 - Department for Education
- View source

Found: January 2021 2 Contents Introduction 4 Changes to delivery 4 Minimising cor onavirus (COVID -19) risks

Latest Documents
Recent Speeches related to Cancel GCSEs and A Levels in 2021

1. Covid-19: Impact on Schools and Exams
07/12/2020 - Westminster Hall

1: Committee, Getting the grades they’ve earned: Covid-19: the cancellation of exams and ‘calculated’ grades - Speech Link
2: 316404 and 549015, relating to the impact of Covid-19 on schools and exams. It is a pleasure to - Speech Link

2. Exams and Accountability in 2021
08/12/2020 - Lords Chamber

1: they are making to keep young people of all ages learning. I also pay tribute to the global teacher of the - Speech Link
2: ensure that any student preparing to sit them in 2021 has every chance possible to do their very best - Speech Link
3: decision that, in awarding next year’s GCSEs, AS and A-levels, grading will be as generous and will maintain - Speech Link
4: working with the exam boards to make sure that students studying for vocational and technical qualifications - Speech Link

3. Oral Answers to Questions
23/11/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: he is providing to schools to help ensure their safe opening during the covid-19 outbreak. [909059] - Speech Link
2: it as necessary. Schools have access to an advice service and supply of test kits. By assessing risk - Speech Link
3: and from unfunded covid-19 cleaning costs. More than a quarter of all state schools are using reserve - Speech Link
4: important point. We know how important it is. We already outlined a package for the summer term, and tens - Speech Link
5: State say how many pupils have been sent home from school for covid-related reasons since the start of - Speech Link

4. Exams: Covid-19
12/10/2020 - Westminster Hall

1: Committee, Getting the grades they’ve earned: Covid-19: the cancellation of exams and ‘calculated’ grades - Speech Link
2: remind Members that there have been some changes to normal practice in order to support the new call-list - Speech Link
3: e-petitions 306773 and 320772 relating to exams during Covid-19.It is an honour to serve under your chairmanship - Speech Link

5. Exams and Accountability 2021
03/12/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: examinations in schools and colleges next year.The pandemic continues to cause disruption throughout - Speech Link

6. Awarding of Qualifications: Role of Ministers
09/09/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: qualifications in GCSE, A-Level and NVQs in 2020 and 2021 by the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State - Speech Link
2: rely on the AS-levels, which, of course, they could do because, unlike in England, AS-levels had continued - Speech Link
3: all want to do the right thing for the class of 2021, so does Labour want the exams to be later next - Speech Link
4: so that markers can be recruited, schools can schedule their learning and teaching and UCAS and universities - Speech Link

7. Covid-19: Educational Settings
06/01/2021 - Commons Chamber

1: Speaker, I would like to make a statement regarding schools in national lockdown.The last thing any - Speech Link

8. Support for Left-Behind Children
07/07/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: will return spending on schools in England to the levels seen a decade ago. Back in October 2019, the Government - Speech Link

9. Oral Answers to Questions
22/06/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: provide time in schools for pupils to catch up on education missed as a result of the covid-19 lockdown. - Speech Link
2: What plans he has to help schools deliver programmes to enable pupils to catch up on progress lost - Speech Link
3: Reading? We have heard so many young people talk about the amazing impact James had on their lives, the - Speech Link
4: the Secretary of State to the family, friends and pupils of James Furlong? No one who heard the “Today” - Speech Link

10. Schools and Colleges: Qualification Results and Full Opening
01/09/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: make a statement about the full opening of our schools and colleges from this week, but before I do I - Speech Link

Latest Speeches
Recent Questions related to Cancel GCSEs and A Levels in 2021
1. GCSE: Coronavirus
asked by: Rebecca Long Bailey
23/11/2020
... if he make an assessment of the potential merits of cancelling the GCSE examinations due to take place in 2021 in response to Year 11 pupils potentially having been disadvantaged by the (a) mass disruption to pupils and teachers and (b) amount of school teaching time lost as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

2. Children: Coronavirus
asked by: Richard Burgon
20/05/2020
... (b) Yorkshire and the Humber and (c) the UK since the schools closed due to the covid-19 outbreak.

Latest Questions

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Students in the UK have already missed hundreds of hours of learning since 23rd March. This has had a huge effect. Some pupils don’t have the essential resources: a working computer, textbooks, stationary, etc. Many don’t have a proper learning environment, therefore results will most certainly not reflect the true efforts of pupils. Hence why I am writing to the Government to cancel GCSEs and A Levels and provide predicted grades to show the true reflections of students across the country.


Top 50 Constituencies by Number of Signatures

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Government Response

The Government is committed to GCSE, AS and A level exams taking place next year. We continue to believe that exams are the best and fairest way of judging students’ performance.


We recognise that Year 11 and 13 students due to take exams in 2021, and their parents, carers and teachers, are concerned about the disruption to education caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. The government is determined to do everything possible to ensure that no student is prevented from fulfilling their potential due to the pandemic.

We continue to believe that exams are the best and fairest way of judging students’ performance and the Government is committed to GCSE, AS and A level exams taking place next year. The Department has been working closely with Ofqual, the exam boards and groups representing teachers, schools, colleges and students, to consider our approach to exams and other assessments for 2021.

In July, Ofqual ran a consultation on a range of possible measures, with the overriding aim of ensuring that exams and assessments are as fair as possible. Ofqual published its decisions (https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/proposed-changes-to-the-assessment-of-gcses-as-and-a-levels-in-2021) on the proposed changes on 3 August. These decisions include adaptations in a number of subjects, for example, removing the requirement to record the spoken language assessment in GCSE English language, and allowing GCSE students to observe, rather than undertake, practical science work. In some subjects with a high volume of content - GCSE history, ancient history and English literature – Ofqual confirmed that exam boards should change how they assess students next year by allowing a choice of topics in the exams. For GCSE, AS and A level geography, there are changes to the requirements relating to fieldwork, both to free up teaching time and to take account of the fact that public health restrictions may make it difficult for students to fulfil the requirements next year. A full list of all subject-level adaptations to exams and assessments in 2021 can be found at Appendix A in Ofqual’s decisions document (https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/proposed-changes-to-the-assessment-of-gcses-as-and-a-levels-in-2021). On 12 October, the Government confirmed that no further subject-level changes to exams and assessments will be made for GCSEs, AS and A levels. This confirmation gives teachers, school leaders and pupils clarity on what will be assessed in exams next summer. The government also announced the decision to delay most GCSE, AS and A level exams next year by 3 weeks to free up additional teaching time.

Exams next year will be underpinned by contingency measures developed in partnership with the sector. The Education Secretary wrote to Ofqual on 12 October to ask the regulator to work closely with him, school and further education leaders, exam boards, unions and the higher education sector to develop these arrangements. More detail will be published later in the autumn, to ensure students have confidence that they will be fairly treated in terms of assessment in 2021.

We have announced a package worth £1 billion to ensure that schools have the resources they need to help all pupils make up for lost teaching time. This package includes a universal catch up premium of £650 million and £350 million for a National Tutoring Programme for disadvantaged pupils. Whilst head teachers will decide how the money is spent, the Education Endowment Foundation has published guidance on effective interventions to help schools make the best use of resources. This £1 billion package is on top of the £14 billion three year funding settlement announced last year, recognising the additional work schools will need to do to help pupils to catch up.

We have also announced a 16-19 Tuition Fund, allocating up to £96m as a one-off, one year, ring-fenced grant to school sixth forms, colleges and all other 16-19 providers. This will provide small group tutoring activity for disadvantaged 16-19 students whose studies have been disrupted as a result of COVID-19.

The Department has provided a range of resources to support schools in delivering remote education. Schools may draw on examples of remote teaching practices employed during school closures and develop their own approaches to providing remote education, as well as building on our work with sector-led initiatives such as Oak National Academy. This new organisation was created by 40 teachers from schools across England and is producing at least 180 hours of online lessons per week for Reception up to Year 11 across a range of subjects. There is also specialist content for pupils with SEND covering their specific educational needs.

The Government has also committed over £100 million to enhance remote education, including providing devices and internet access for vulnerable children who need it most. This funding is intended to ensure that every school has access to free, expert technical support in using Google for Education or Microsoft’s Office 365 Education, where needed, by offering peer support from schools and colleges more experienced with the use of education technology.

The government is clear that the school curriculum should remain broad and ambitious, and all students should continue to be taught a wide range of subjects, maintaining their choices for further study and employment.

Department for Education


MPs spoken contributions during 7 Dec 2020 petition debate