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Surely they can't cancel GCSEs and A levels again

(176 Posts)
Marcellemouse Thu 01-Oct-20 08:28:21

Heard there are calls for it. After what happened with this years cohorts surely it can't happen and it's a terrible idea.

OP’s posts: |
Racoonworld Thu 01-Oct-20 08:30:55

I wouldn’t put it past them, anything seems possible these days.

Ihopeyourcakeisshit Thu 01-Oct-20 08:32:18

Do you have any kind of source, rather than Sharon from Tesco said?

Seeline Thu 01-Oct-20 08:33:55

The unis are requesting teacher assessed grades for A level. I can't say I blame them after the fiasco if this year. If it was decided now, everyone would at least know where that stand.

Seeline Thu 01-Oct-20 08:36:10

BBC News - Ministers 'sticking fingers in ears' over 2021 exams
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-54355169

KetoPenguin Thu 01-Oct-20 08:38:00

I think this cohort have had a very unfair playing field with the loss of so much teaching time last year and possible disruption ahead if they are asked to self isolate. At the same time the fiasco over teacher grading cannot be repeated and they have to come up with some way of making things much fairer this time.

TooManyDogsandChildren Thu 01-Oct-20 08:38:23

Can and probably should. Think about the lack of level playing field for children who have been required to self-isolate possibly multiple times or whose teachers have been out in key teaching times. That is after spending three months of the last academic year at home when a lot of exam course teaching would normally have taken place so they are already massively behind. School provision for learning at home has been very variable.

That is before whatever happens in the next 6 months. My DS school are bringing mocks forward in case they are unable to sit mocks in January as usual. That tells you they are concerned.

The reality is that children taking exams this year have not had anything like the quality of schooling they could normally expect and it is not fair simply to chuck them into exams and proclaim it is business as usual.

maddy68 Thu 01-Oct-20 08:43:54

I would expect them to plan for this amongst other scenarios

larrygrylls Thu 01-Oct-20 08:47:04

I think Corona will catalyse the death of GCSES.

If we are to have compulsory education to 18, there is no need to have a public examination at 16.

On the other hand, I cannot see A levels being cancelled. Universities need a screening system of some kind and CAGs will always favour the privileged.

Marcellemouse Thu 01-Oct-20 08:49:33

@TooManyDogsandChildren my DS is year 11 and also having mocks in November and again in January.
The problem is if exams are cancelled won't loads of DC just sit back and relax? How will they work out what those DC should have got in normal times? How would that be fair to DC who have worked hard during home learning Vs those who were in a position to but couldn't be bothered (30% at DS school despite having access to computers and not from deprived background). The only fair way is testing I think.

OP’s posts: |
noblegiraffe Thu 01-Oct-20 08:50:30

There’s lots of discussion about this in education circles at the moment. A group of MATs and private schools have banded together to campaign for the cancellation of GCSEs.

Given the shambolic return to education there are no easy or pleasant answers. If the exams go ahead we’ve got to accept that kids in Birmingham will be severely disadvantaged compared to kids in the South West (and how do you account for that?). If they don’t go ahead then what? Teacher assessed grades was a farce.

Member Thu 01-Oct-20 09:05:09

I am appalled that the Ofqual so-called consultation was driven by “the minister is minded to continue with exams as usual” and as a result there is very little change in the exam content and format. I think a combination of continuous assessment & exam would have allowed for more robust data in the event exams couldn’t proceed. The D of E lack of vision on this has the makings of a catastrophe in waiting

Triangularbubble Thu 01-Oct-20 09:13:21

The trouble surely is that children actually won’t have covered the content. We could give them “what the teacher thinks you would have got” grades or mock exam grades, and I guess for subjects they are not continuing with and they’re not using in employment it might not matter much. I’ve never used my GCSE German or DT again. But surely to do maths A level you need to have a good grasp of the whole GCSE maths syllabus. Ditto sciences, languages....

Starting to wonder if (and I realise this is very hard to do) repeating the year wouldn’t be better. Incredibly hard knock on effects though.

Pythonesque Thu 01-Oct-20 09:18:46

I do think that some form of external moderation will be essential even if the bulk of results needs to be teacher assessed. No real idea how that can be achieved. (have a yr 11 and yr 13 like numerous others)

Lilybet1980 Thu 01-Oct-20 09:22:41

If we are to have compulsory education to 18, there is no need to have a public examination at 16

I disagree. GCSEs allow for study across a breadth of subjects, demonstrating aptitude across core subjects as well as a wide variety. A Levels allow for deeper study into fewer subjects.

I also don’t think it will be healthy for only one set of exams that actually mean anything. GCSEs can be the kick up the arse some kids need.

Ulpo Thu 01-Oct-20 09:25:18

I think they will and I think it won't be a surprise to anyone really.

IpanemaFlowers Thu 01-Oct-20 09:26:33

Dd is in yr 11, last night she told me they’ve missed topics 4-7 in geography and are now doing 8-9 of 9 topics in total. That’s a big chunk missed. She hasn’t had a piano lesson since March, first one starts again tonight. She is doing music gcse and will never be able to make this time up.

I don’t want the exams cancelled but I don’t see how they can sit them in a fair way now?

larrygrylls Thu 01-Oct-20 09:27:37

Lilybet,

We could retain maths and English at GCSE, or add the equivalent of those at 18.

Schools could continue to assess at 16 and use that as a qualification for 6th form entry.

There is a strong argument that the stress and disruption of GCSEs are not worth itif the results are going to be made irrelevant 2 years later.

I suspect that this is the direction of travel.

TheEmojiFormerlyKnownAsPrince Thu 01-Oct-20 09:30:37

I think the following year will need the same.

Dd started Y10 this year. Missed 4 days already waiting for a test. Looks like I’ll need an operation. That will be another 2 weeks. We aren’t even at 1/2 term yet. She tells me most of her classes have people missing.

Lindy2 Thu 01-Oct-20 09:46:20

I think there needs to be a return to some assessed coursework that can be used to award a grade if needed.

That would provide a back up incase exams can't go ahead and also for children who may be in isolation at exam time.

Thiscantreallybehappening Thu 01-Oct-20 09:47:27

@IpanemaFlowers

I agree with you, I just can't see a way forward. My DC is year 13 and they have missed big chunks across all subjects. The teachers are saying they cannot get through the exam syllabuses now. They are still ploughing through year 12 work. On top of that, the college is doing blended learning which isn't working and we are in a very low risk area. There was a plan in place for the onsite teaching to be increased but we have heard that isn't going to be the case now.

Feellikedancingyeah Thu 01-Oct-20 09:56:47

How about yearly testing in school ? Then a certificate of general education.at age 16. Then move on to sixth form or college and do formal exams at that stage?

HelloMissus Thu 01-Oct-20 09:59:42

The heads of some private schools and some atheists academy chains have out their heads together to tell the government that there cannot be exams next year.
Both cohorts have missed too much.

JacobReesMogadishu Thu 01-Oct-20 10:01:35

I think it would be best if they did.

My friends year 11 Ds has like every one missed a term of education. Now the whole year is self isolating for 2 weeks. Who's to know how many times they may have to self isolate, either as individuals or as a year. Some schools could be very affected by this, others less so. So not fair and equitable.

Kids won't step off the gas if they think there's a possibility of no exams. They'll do the opposite and be working their arse off now as they know the alternative is that the teacher ranks them. They need to do their utmost in every class test and bit of homework.

beachedwhales Thu 01-Oct-20 10:02:07

noblegiraffe

There’s lots of discussion about this in education circles at the moment. A group of MATs and private schools have banded together to campaign for the cancellation of GCSEs.

Given the shambolic return to education there are no easy or pleasant answers. If the exams go ahead we’ve got to accept that kids in Birmingham will be severely disadvantaged compared to kids in the South West (and how do you account for that?). If they don’t go ahead then what? Teacher assessed grades was a farce.


Teacher assessed grades were fine. The farce was the algorithm.

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