Question to the Department for Education:
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has for the reopening of schools in relation to pupils taking (a) GCSE and (b) A Level exams in 2021.
From the 15 June, we are asking secondary schools to offer face-to-face support to supplement the remote education of year 10 and year 12 pupils, which should remain the predominant mode of education during this term for pupils in these year groups.
Our assessment, based on the latest scientific and medical advice, is that we need to continue to control the numbers attending school to reduce the risk of increasing transmission. Therefore, schools are able to have a quarter of the year 10 and year 12 cohort (for schools with sixth forms) in school at any one time, alongside full time provision for priority groups (vulnerable children and children of critical workers) in all year groups.
Year 10 and year 12 have been prioritised in mainstream secondary schools because they are preparing for key examinations next year (2021) and, of the secondary year groups, are most impacted by time out of school.
Guidance for secondary schools on wider opening is available on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preparing-for-the-wider-opening-of-schools-from-1-june/planning-guide-for-secondary-schools.