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So Scottish kids won’t sit GCSE equivalent next year. Will England follow?

(77 Posts)
NellyJames Wed 07-Oct-20 18:59:59

So the Scottish government have announced this today. Saying it wouldn’t be fair after all they’ve been through. So they’ll now be assessed with a mixture of CAGS and coursework. Will Gavin Williamson follow? My Y11 DD has not only missed the summer term but is now midway through a 2wk isolation. How many more times will that happen before the spring? Announcing this now allows for a smooth process with adequate moderation.

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NellyJames Wed 07-Oct-20 19:02:07

So should England follow?

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Newgirls Wed 07-Oct-20 19:03:26

I think it’s the school tests before GCSEs

NellyJames Wed 07-Oct-20 19:06:23

@Newgirls, it says both on the news and on the link that these are the Scottish equivalent to GCSEs. I don’t think they do GCSEs in Scotland. Highest, similar to ALevels, will still take place but later.

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AHintOfStyle Wed 07-Oct-20 19:07:03


I think it’s the school tests before GCSEs

Scottish pupils sit Nat5s and Highers.
English pupils sit GCSEs and A-levels.

Nat5s will not have exams in 2021

Sittin Wed 07-Oct-20 19:07:52

I hope not. Potentially the first time they sit an exam would be a levels! I think it risks damaging the pupil - teacher relationship; we are there to prepare them, not to ‘judge’ them. It just won’t be the same as proper exams, and although they are probably pleased now, it’s wrong to deny them that opportunity. Better to send everyone else home for a couple of weeks and allow the exam classes to sit exams in smaller groups.

NellyJames Wed 07-Oct-20 19:07:52

He said National 5 qualifications - which account for about half of all exams sat in Scotland and are roughly equivalent to GCSEs in England - would be judged on "teacher judgement supported by assessment".

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Newgirls Wed 07-Oct-20 19:08:30

Ah - I read it was up to 15 years but of course they have a dif age thing.

Will be interesting to see what happens with GCSEs

Lindy2 Wed 07-Oct-20 19:09:39

I think the exams need to be at least part coursework. Even if the schools are open at exam time it's very likely that a reasonable percentage of pupils will be in isolation when they are supposed to do exams.

killerofmen Wed 07-Oct-20 19:11:08

Don't forget Wales! I think Wales might take a similar stance. Probably England too eventually.

NellyJames Wed 07-Oct-20 19:12:19

@Sittin, the problem I see if that many Y11s especially here in the North, are missing so much school this year. DD is lucky that she had good provision during lockdown and now too whilst isolating. That really isn’t the case for many children. However, she is doing music GCSE and hasn’t had a piano lesson since March. She should of had her first one this week but obviously that was cancelled. She feels very behind with music especially.

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slidingdrawers Wed 07-Oct-20 19:12:49

As a fellow year 11 parent, I hope we swiftly follow suit to give clarity to students and teaching staff. Scaling back the subject curriculum is not a solution given the disruption students have and will continue to face in the coming months.

NellyJames Wed 07-Oct-20 19:16:12

@slidingdrawers, yes I agree! By doing it now that gives plenty of time to do it right. Plenty of time to ensure adequate moderation and make sure standards are kept high. Rather than a last minute panicked reaction.

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52andblue Wed 07-Oct-20 19:17:01

It would be the only fair thing to do.
Kids up North are potentially missing loads.
Kids with poor internet / poor access to laptops etc
Hugely unfair to make them all sit an exam 'on an equal footing' next summer

NellyJames Wed 07-Oct-20 19:24:15

@52andblue, I agree totally! There’s no way it’s a level playing field next year. Some children will have barely attended for a full year. I’ve heard of some Y11s in North Manchester who have already had 2 periods of 2wk isolating and it’s only October.

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MarshaBradyo Wed 07-Oct-20 19:26:36

I hope not. But I understand people in North feel differently.

Fruitloopcowabunga Wed 07-Oct-20 19:27:40

Think they should scale back exams and include coursework/continuous assessment. It's really hard on the kids but GCSEs are mainly a passport to other qualifications so think it can be done this way.

DirtyBlonde Wed 07-Oct-20 19:29:58

Potentially the first time they sit an exam would be a levels

Same for current year 12s, then

Yes, I think England will follow suit - as always.

Expect closure of bars soon

slidingdrawers Wed 07-Oct-20 19:31:38


I hope not. But I understand people in North feel differently.

Interested to know why you hope not?

EvilPea Wed 07-Oct-20 19:34:03

It will have to. Otherwise we will have a 25 tier system - private, state, scottish, Wales, NI, English, wealthy enough to afford tutors, not quite so wealthy but still have a bit of tech with well educated engaged parents, less engaged parents but still a bit of tech
And on and on!!!

Notfeelinggreattoday Wed 07-Oct-20 19:38:22

I hope so but he was so adamant they would go ahead
Yet would be easy to get coursework and even small exam evidence now from the pupils

MindYourLanguage Wed 07-Oct-20 19:40:38

I hope they dont cancel them and go towards coursework, it alienates those who are home-schooled and educated alternatively. I know that the costs running the exams for some and doing coursework/teacher assessed grades for others is high, but there has to be some fairness for those that are not in school and pursuing education differently.

waltzingparrot Wed 07-Oct-20 19:46:37

I hope if it happens they will still be motivated to work somehow.

MintyMabel Wed 07-Oct-20 19:46:37

It will have to. Otherwise we will have a 25 tier system

Newsflash - education is entirely devolved to Scotland, it is not linked to the English system nor has it ever really been aligned. Any similarities are entirely coincidental.

MarshaBradyo Wed 07-Oct-20 19:48:01

Sliding dc responds well to tests and after finding on screen learning a poor substitute is really motivated. Has been tested already which has been good for him. He knows he has exams looming and it’s working.

Plus generally I fear a lessening of motivation if exams are cancelled. They’d have to instil same effort in students as they will be tested and marked earlier still.

But I understand how difficult it is if schools / students isolate more.

I’d be more for the exams to happen but with some kind of alteration. Maybe choose modules. I don’t know what the exams are like so will leave up to people who know them well.

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