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Summer 2021 Year 11 Exams

Volume 682: debated on Monday 12 October 2020

What steps his Department has taken to plan and prepare for arrangements for year 11 exams at the end of the 2020-21 academic year. (907365)

We continue to believe that exams are the fairest form of assessment. Today we announced our plans for next summer’s year 11 exams to take place—the GCSEs—and we will work with Ofqual to engage the sector in planning for a range of scenarios of potential disruption to exams to ensure students get the results they deserve.

I welcome my right hon. Friend’s written statement today and thank him for ending the uncertainty that was facing pupils, teachers and parents alike. Please can he reassure constituents such as one of mine, 15-year-old Charlotte, who wrote to me a couple of weeks ago and inspired this question today, that next year’s exams will take into account the disruption there has been to their learning, while allowing them to demonstrate their ability and what they have learned over the past few years, and please will he reassure her that further detail as to how that will be achieved will be coming very soon?

My right hon. Friend raises an important point. We do believe that the subject level changes to the content of assessment that was confirmed by Ofqual recently will reduce the pressure on students and free up teaching time. Combined with the timing changes to exams announced today, this does free up more teaching time to help address any unfairness. On top of that, as I have said before, there is the £1 billion catch-up fund, and we will have more to say later in the autumn about the issue of grading.