Cancelled GCSEs and A-levels in England must avoid 'shambles'
06/01/2021 | news | education | 45
Head teachers warn replacement grades for GCSEs and A-levels must not repeat last year's "disaster".
1
06/01/2021 13:44:24 7 4
bbc
Gavin Williamson makes Chris Grayling seem like a Greek shipping magnate.
2
06/01/2021 13:45:48 5 4
bbc
Expect a shambles.
3
06/01/2021 13:48:18 3 4
bbc
Avoid shambles? With Johnson involved? Ha Ha Ha
4
06/01/2021 13:48:58 4 4
bbc
As long as Gavin Williamson is Education Secretary, a shambles is all that we can expect.
5
06/01/2021 13:49:40 5 5
bbc
If they quickly pop to the local zoo whilst it's closed and round up some monkeys and apes and put them in charge, then we might have a better chance at avoiding a car crash.
6
06/01/2021 13:51:23 3 2
bbc
This government just stumble from one mistake to another. Frankly they are simply not up to the job. Three word slogans can win an election but if that is all you have in the locker then this is what you get......
7
06/01/2021 13:52:14 1 1
bbc
Question : What will come first teacher assessments or World War Three ?

Answer : Teacher assessments followed by WW3 a day later
Go and drown in a canal or something Williamson you child neglector! Kids mental health permanently damaged by YOUR decisions. Kids educations upended and thrown into chaos by YOUR decisions. Kids lives affected for life due to YOUR unicellular cerebrum. Put kids first? Yeah right. Another Billy Liar. Removed
12
06/01/2021 13:54:37 0 0
bbc
damn straight.
9
06/01/2021 13:54:19 2 4
bbc
Kids futures are being wafted away by unions and politicians. Teaching from home does not work and learning is being lost, what provision are in place that kids can properly catch up and not have an arbitrary grade applied to them at the end of the year?
15
06/01/2021 13:59:43 3 4
bbc
This is not the fault of Unions. The government make ALL the decisions.
26
06/01/2021 14:54:57 0 1
bbc
It's Corvid that's doing it, people (everyone) are only reacting to it Only the deluded or a fool can pretend they would definitely have dealt with it better and even that is only because they speak with the benefit of hindsight and not having to actually do it or take any responsibility for it. Yes the government have made mistakes. we all probably have, unless we've done nothing at all.
10
06/01/2021 13:54:39 1 4
bbc
I can't imagine the turmoil that students have been through in the past year. I wonder how they will view politics in the future when we reflect on the damage that politicians have done to their prospects?
11
06/01/2021 13:53:22 1 0
bbc
GCSEs are mentioned, but what about iGCSE ? some home schooled children do these and they have 'officially' dropped between the lines as neither BTEC not GCSE.
32
06/01/2021 15:40:34 0 0
bbc
As usual, private candidates and home-schoolers totally overlooked. So many didn't get any grades last year and it look like the same will happen again! I do hope IGCSEs go ahead this summer.
Go and drown in a canal or something Williamson you child neglector! Kids mental health permanently damaged by YOUR decisions. Kids educations upended and thrown into chaos by YOUR decisions. Kids lives affected for life due to YOUR unicellular cerebrum. Put kids first? Yeah right. Another Billy Liar. Removed
12
06/01/2021 13:54:37 0 0
bbc
damn straight.
13
06/01/2021 13:57:14 1 2
bbc
Just did my daily exercise and passed the local primary school. We counted 73 children in the playground with their teacher. Are there really that number of key workers in a town with such a small population. Too many non key workers ,unable to work from home so going into work. Non essential business is continuing as normal !!! Lockdown - Its a joke.
14
06/01/2021 13:58:05 6 4
bbc
The behaviour of the unions is a disgrace their hollow soundbites about education equality is a disgrace. They are culpable for a lot of this. Contrast the teachers reluctance compared to our heroic police ambulance and NHS frontline workers.
16
06/01/2021 14:01:14 3 3
bbc
Utter rubbish. Give one example where a school has not operated due to union action.
9
06/01/2021 13:54:19 2 4
bbc
Kids futures are being wafted away by unions and politicians. Teaching from home does not work and learning is being lost, what provision are in place that kids can properly catch up and not have an arbitrary grade applied to them at the end of the year?
15
06/01/2021 13:59:43 3 4
bbc
This is not the fault of Unions. The government make ALL the decisions.
19
06/01/2021 14:07:46 2 1
bbc
Don't you mean: "The government make ALL the indecision"
14
06/01/2021 13:58:05 6 4
bbc
The behaviour of the unions is a disgrace their hollow soundbites about education equality is a disgrace. They are culpable for a lot of this. Contrast the teachers reluctance compared to our heroic police ambulance and NHS frontline workers.
16
06/01/2021 14:01:14 3 3
bbc
Utter rubbish. Give one example where a school has not operated due to union action.
23
06/01/2021 14:31:09 2 1
bbc
Not for want of trying. Realistically there is no "good outcome" scenario possible, but it's hard to see how the unions have contributed anything to to minimising the problem & they've certainly been a Job's comforter. I'm not convinced they've done much to protect members either, who really are between a rock & a hard place. No win-win, not even a win; in this game the only result is all lose.
17
06/01/2021 14:04:52 2 6
bbc
As a life long Tory, can I please ask we join others in this HYS and blame unions and teachers (or everyone else for that matter), as they are, after all, in charge of running this country.

Any sarcasm in this comment is purely intentional.
18
06/01/2021 14:05:27 1 2
bbc
This Govenment are sounding new depths of incompetence, I cannot understand why it’s not possible or safe for A level exams to take place in July but it is fine for BTec learners to sit them now as planned over the next few weeks. Johnsons esteemed Education Minister, might catch up / U turn soon?
21
06/01/2021 14:15:04 3 1
bbc
It probably would be safe in July but hardly fair for students who have missed formal, in school study for large parts of the last and this academic year.
22
06/01/2021 14:22:07 0 0
bbc
I agree about mechanics of sitting the exams, these have always involved distancing between candidates, it's just Covid gives an added reason for doing it.

It's what can be taught and how well it can be taught given the restrictions and time already lost and the possible future shortfalls in time and quality going forward till course completion in as near as possible to conventional timescales.
15
06/01/2021 13:59:43 3 4
bbc
This is not the fault of Unions. The government make ALL the decisions.
19
06/01/2021 14:07:46 2 1
bbc
Don't you mean: "The government make ALL the indecision"
20
06/01/2021 14:14:12 2 2
bbc
There is no acceptable substitute for the status quo. Tuition cannot match what is usually done, therein is the problem. While restrictions continue the affected years will suffer from a belief that their learning is not on a par & their performance is under or over valued. Although why holding the exams is a problem in itself is odd, since sitting them is the essence of social distancing anyway.
18
06/01/2021 14:05:27 1 2
bbc
This Govenment are sounding new depths of incompetence, I cannot understand why it’s not possible or safe for A level exams to take place in July but it is fine for BTec learners to sit them now as planned over the next few weeks. Johnsons esteemed Education Minister, might catch up / U turn soon?
21
06/01/2021 14:15:04 3 1
bbc
It probably would be safe in July but hardly fair for students who have missed formal, in school study for large parts of the last and this academic year.
18
06/01/2021 14:05:27 1 2
bbc
This Govenment are sounding new depths of incompetence, I cannot understand why it’s not possible or safe for A level exams to take place in July but it is fine for BTec learners to sit them now as planned over the next few weeks. Johnsons esteemed Education Minister, might catch up / U turn soon?
22
06/01/2021 14:22:07 0 0
bbc
I agree about mechanics of sitting the exams, these have always involved distancing between candidates, it's just Covid gives an added reason for doing it.

It's what can be taught and how well it can be taught given the restrictions and time already lost and the possible future shortfalls in time and quality going forward till course completion in as near as possible to conventional timescales.
16
06/01/2021 14:01:14 3 3
bbc
Utter rubbish. Give one example where a school has not operated due to union action.
23
06/01/2021 14:31:09 2 1
bbc
Not for want of trying. Realistically there is no "good outcome" scenario possible, but it's hard to see how the unions have contributed anything to to minimising the problem & they've certainly been a Job's comforter. I'm not convinced they've done much to protect members either, who really are between a rock & a hard place. No win-win, not even a win; in this game the only result is all lose.
24
06/01/2021 14:39:00 3 0
bbc
Teachers have to mix on a daily basis with people from hundreds of different households. Their unions asked for reasonable measures to be put in place to manage the risk. What exactly is wrong with that?
30
06/01/2021 15:22:38 2 0
bbc
What's more, (unlike most of those who did carry on), teachers at least know who these 100's are (and if they've been off school & should be in isolation/quarantine), can contact them & they're the same people every day. So much more manageable.

I don't have a problem with the teachers & other staff, those I know were trying to do what they could, it's the union (I'm a union member myself).
23
06/01/2021 14:31:09 2 1
bbc
Not for want of trying. Realistically there is no "good outcome" scenario possible, but it's hard to see how the unions have contributed anything to to minimising the problem & they've certainly been a Job's comforter. I'm not convinced they've done much to protect members either, who really are between a rock & a hard place. No win-win, not even a win; in this game the only result is all lose.
24
06/01/2021 14:39:00 3 0
bbc
Teachers have to mix on a daily basis with people from hundreds of different households. Their unions asked for reasonable measures to be put in place to manage the risk. What exactly is wrong with that?
29
06/01/2021 15:10:42 2 1
bbc
I was under the impression that nobody had a problem with trying to do that & it was being done, but the teachers unions had a problem accepting anything was good enough and proposing damaging closures while they play their merry game of "it's still not good enough go and do it again".

Thank goodness the NHS, emergency services, bin men, shop workers, delivery drivers, etc. didn't do the same.
25
06/01/2021 14:43:09 1 0
bbc
You are paying the price of the failure to make a decision that was clear and obvious last year. Schools should have been closed for a full year, then every child get the same centrally produced lessons. Via tv digital channels and on line. Then exams would still be 'fair', having eradicated the variety of on/off mere schooling and different one off local school attempts at it.
27
06/01/2021 15:00:27 0 1
bbc
Maybe but even that cannot tackle the disparity between year groups pre-, during and post- Covid. It will not always been there (10 years on how relevant is a O level in woodwork), but in the short term it may hurt.
44
07/01/2021 14:14:28 0 0
bbc
I agree - if everything had stopped for a year instead of some getting sub-standard education and some as good as none at all - everyone applying for a job later would be on an equal footing
Or even for 6 months, so teachers could get their heads, the kids' heads around this, and get the syllabus online effectively.
Instead we stopped-started, limped along.....
9
06/01/2021 13:54:19 2 4
bbc
Kids futures are being wafted away by unions and politicians. Teaching from home does not work and learning is being lost, what provision are in place that kids can properly catch up and not have an arbitrary grade applied to them at the end of the year?
26
06/01/2021 14:54:57 0 1
bbc
It's Corvid that's doing it, people (everyone) are only reacting to it Only the deluded or a fool can pretend they would definitely have dealt with it better and even that is only because they speak with the benefit of hindsight and not having to actually do it or take any responsibility for it. Yes the government have made mistakes. we all probably have, unless we've done nothing at all.
25
06/01/2021 14:43:09 1 0
bbc
You are paying the price of the failure to make a decision that was clear and obvious last year. Schools should have been closed for a full year, then every child get the same centrally produced lessons. Via tv digital channels and on line. Then exams would still be 'fair', having eradicated the variety of on/off mere schooling and different one off local school attempts at it.
27
06/01/2021 15:00:27 0 1
bbc
Maybe but even that cannot tackle the disparity between year groups pre-, during and post- Covid. It will not always been there (10 years on how relevant is a O level in woodwork), but in the short term it may hurt.
39
06/01/2021 22:16:27 1 0
bbc
No perhaps not but year on year it is little different to when they change curriculum or entire exam methods like with or without course work.
28
06/01/2021 15:08:48 1 0
bbc
Let’s hope someone, somewhere has some common sense and they devise a system that works for the whole cohort. For instance, some students will want their results based on data points up to now because they are struggling in lockdown whereas others need this additional 5 months to improve their grades. It can’t be hard to do both and then take the higher grade for each student?
24
06/01/2021 14:39:00 3 0
bbc
Teachers have to mix on a daily basis with people from hundreds of different households. Their unions asked for reasonable measures to be put in place to manage the risk. What exactly is wrong with that?
29
06/01/2021 15:10:42 2 1
bbc
I was under the impression that nobody had a problem with trying to do that & it was being done, but the teachers unions had a problem accepting anything was good enough and proposing damaging closures while they play their merry game of "it's still not good enough go and do it again".

Thank goodness the NHS, emergency services, bin men, shop workers, delivery drivers, etc. didn't do the same.
23
06/01/2021 14:31:09 2 1
bbc
Not for want of trying. Realistically there is no "good outcome" scenario possible, but it's hard to see how the unions have contributed anything to to minimising the problem & they've certainly been a Job's comforter. I'm not convinced they've done much to protect members either, who really are between a rock & a hard place. No win-win, not even a win; in this game the only result is all lose.
30
06/01/2021 15:22:38 2 0
bbc
What's more, (unlike most of those who did carry on), teachers at least know who these 100's are (and if they've been off school & should be in isolation/quarantine), can contact them & they're the same people every day. So much more manageable.

I don't have a problem with the teachers & other staff, those I know were trying to do what they could, it's the union (I'm a union member myself).
31
06/01/2021 15:24:48 4 0
bbc
Ilforddave
“Contrast the teachers reluctance compared to our heroic police ambulance and NHS frontline workers”
~
And yet teachers have worked day in, day out, throughout this crisis to deliver coursework and assessments, to bolster the flagging morale of our pupils and students, and to provide crucial daily care to vulnerable pupils and to children of frontline workers.
They should be applauded.
38
Lyn
06/01/2021 22:14:13 0 0
bbc
Not all schools in our local area have done as well as others in delivering online sssessments, lessons or course work
11
06/01/2021 13:53:22 1 0
bbc
GCSEs are mentioned, but what about iGCSE ? some home schooled children do these and they have 'officially' dropped between the lines as neither BTEC not GCSE.
32
06/01/2021 15:40:34 0 0
bbc
As usual, private candidates and home-schoolers totally overlooked. So many didn't get any grades last year and it look like the same will happen again! I do hope IGCSEs go ahead this summer.
33
06/01/2021 16:50:12 2 0
bbc
God help the students. A hedgehog would run a better system and come across more credibly than the weasel Gavin Williamson.

Only made a Minister by fellow clown Boris for him supporting Brexit. He has no other qualification to be Minister.
34
06/01/2021 17:54:19 0 0
bbc
I agree that cancelling is right and last year was a shambles. But don't forget the students who have to live with that shambles. It doesn't help to keep being reminded you are stuck with results which are not valued or respected and no amount of hard work can change that. I feel for anyone in education aged 14 to 25 this is going to impact on future aspirations and achievements for years.
35
06/01/2021 19:01:57 1 0
bbc
Davey
“It doesn't help to keep being reminded you are stuck with results which are not valued or respected”
~
I’m not convinced it’ll be too much of a problem. This will affect tens of thousands of future job applicants equally, and employers will still have the same opportunity to spot a potentially good employee regardless.
36
06/01/2021 19:04:55 2 0
bbc
Davey
“I agree that cancelling is right and last year was a shambles”
~
I think the greater problem is that unlike in Scotland and Wales, English students have had this decision imposed on them almost half way through the school year with apparently little thought given to how they’ll be assessed.
37
06/01/2021 19:08:55 0 0
bbc
A-level exams should have stayed.
Why not expect 18-year-olds to be capable to learn on-line, with the right support from their 6th form teachers?
By becoming a more independent learner at A-level, transition to Uni will be much smoother.
31
06/01/2021 15:24:48 4 0
bbc
Ilforddave
“Contrast the teachers reluctance compared to our heroic police ambulance and NHS frontline workers”
~
And yet teachers have worked day in, day out, throughout this crisis to deliver coursework and assessments, to bolster the flagging morale of our pupils and students, and to provide crucial daily care to vulnerable pupils and to children of frontline workers.
They should be applauded.
38
Lyn
06/01/2021 22:14:13 0 0
bbc
Not all schools in our local area have done as well as others in delivering online sssessments, lessons or course work
40
07/01/2021 11:49:44 1 0
bbc
Lyn
“Not all schools in our local area have done as well as others in delivering online sssessments, lessons or course work”
~
Indeed. My daughter’s school has been faultless in its online provision and support, with some teachers even being available on weekends to sort student problems. In contrast, the neighbouring school has apparently been very poor.
We count ourselves very fortunate.
27
06/01/2021 15:00:27 0 1
bbc
Maybe but even that cannot tackle the disparity between year groups pre-, during and post- Covid. It will not always been there (10 years on how relevant is a O level in woodwork), but in the short term it may hurt.
39
06/01/2021 22:16:27 1 0
bbc
No perhaps not but year on year it is little different to when they change curriculum or entire exam methods like with or without course work.
38
Lyn
06/01/2021 22:14:13 0 0
bbc
Not all schools in our local area have done as well as others in delivering online sssessments, lessons or course work
40
07/01/2021 11:49:44 1 0
bbc
Lyn
“Not all schools in our local area have done as well as others in delivering online sssessments, lessons or course work”
~
Indeed. My daughter’s school has been faultless in its online provision and support, with some teachers even being available on weekends to sort student problems. In contrast, the neighbouring school has apparently been very poor.
We count ourselves very fortunate.
41
07/01/2021 11:55:07 0 3
bbc
Teachers and head teachers should spend more time thinking how they can help to deliver their job and less time “warning” people about what might happen. If they were true professionals they would act like professionals and not lefty union reps.
43
07/01/2021 14:09:08 0 0
bbc
People like you should roll up your sleeves and do something useful instead of banging on with your 1950s 'reds under the bed' McCarthyist leanings.
Your kids or grandkids losing potentially two years of their formal education through no fault of their own is a catastrophe.
42
07/01/2021 14:02:40 1 0
bbc
I lost two years of education when HMG was tinkering around with middle schools. It has a devastating effect that follows you around for life, unless, like me, you get lucky.
41
07/01/2021 11:55:07 0 3
bbc
Teachers and head teachers should spend more time thinking how they can help to deliver their job and less time “warning” people about what might happen. If they were true professionals they would act like professionals and not lefty union reps.
43
07/01/2021 14:09:08 0 0
bbc
People like you should roll up your sleeves and do something useful instead of banging on with your 1950s 'reds under the bed' McCarthyist leanings.
Your kids or grandkids losing potentially two years of their formal education through no fault of their own is a catastrophe.
25
06/01/2021 14:43:09 1 0
bbc
You are paying the price of the failure to make a decision that was clear and obvious last year. Schools should have been closed for a full year, then every child get the same centrally produced lessons. Via tv digital channels and on line. Then exams would still be 'fair', having eradicated the variety of on/off mere schooling and different one off local school attempts at it.
44
07/01/2021 14:14:28 0 0
bbc
I agree - if everything had stopped for a year instead of some getting sub-standard education and some as good as none at all - everyone applying for a job later would be on an equal footing
Or even for 6 months, so teachers could get their heads, the kids' heads around this, and get the syllabus online effectively.
Instead we stopped-started, limped along.....
45
07/01/2021 15:43:27 1 0
bbc
Chloe
“If they were true professionals they would act like professionals and not lefty union reps”
~
We entrust these teachers with delivering the education our children and young people need to succeed in their lives ahead. They’ve every right to warm and question No10, especially when it appears to be making hasty and ill-considered decisions.