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  • It's been the great experiment.

  • How to assess Children who haven't been in school, who to control the disease might be forced out of school at any point, a question which boils down to whether or not they should sit their exams next summer.

  • Not for the first time in this pandemic, different things are happening in different parts of the UK.

  • Wales has canceled all their exams, replaced with in classroom assessments, while Scotland has done the same with their equivalent of G.

  • C S, E S.

  • Northern Ireland and England have both deferred exams by several weeks, but not canceled any.

  • But the argument goes that that's not fair, given all the time missed both in spring, unless commonly appreciated.

  • Now English secondary school attendance for last week stands at 87% better than some feared, but that's still down on where it should be.

  • On 3000 schools have 30 orm or people self isolating.

  • Many of those schools likely concentrated in the north of England, but plenty want exams to go ahead.

  • Thes students at ST Dominic, sixth Form College in Harrow, saw what happened to the year above this summer saw how arbitrary the system, which replaced exams.

  • Waas.

  • They want to keep the control exams.

  • Give them.

  • The only thing every year that we know is the guarantee that we will have our exams on.

  • We'll get reliable good results from them.

  • How many of you want to do exams?

  • E o everyone, to an extent we are prepared on.

  • It might not be the same for the red nationally, but I think everyone is different.

  • And as a college, we can say that I think we are.

  • We already and I think taking the example reflect our potential more than getting predicted grades.

  • So I think that that's why majority of students here would prefer to take the exams.

  • This is a school which has kept its attendance up, kept covert out.

  • But the head here is aware that not all have been so lucky.

  • Now is the time, particularly with the announcement in Wales today for a national conversation, um, to make sure that there is parity across the United Kingdom.

  • I think that's really important.

  • We have a national examination system on.

  • I think that national conversation between the devolved powers needs to happen now.

  • Indeed, teachers spoken to by Newsnight today reflect the division across the country.

  • One said at 1.170 out of 240 students were isolating, and some are currently isolating.

  • For the third time.

  • Teacher assessment is the only fair and moral option.

  • Another said.

  • There is no way for the exams to run successfully, and fairly pupils are being forced off for large periods of time.

  • Additionally, many could actually miss the exam day itself, either through having to isolate or being unwell on another.

  • I have 50 year Elevens off of the moment.

  • Isolating the whole year group has bean off twice already, so four weeks have lost teacher time.

  • Just this year, the exam boards have essentially made no changes to the content.

  • So no idea how exams running as normal could be fair.

  • Something which could bring teachers together.

  • A changes toe.

  • How much is actually examined?

  • Three Other possibility is that we say we're learning that some exams, so a typical a level might have three papers.

  • Well, we don't need to necessarily to do all three papers so we could have a blend off some exams, some teacher assessment.

  • We could also say that we won't have exams in all the subjects, just in some of them.

  • So there are various possibilities, and it's really important that we look at all of them on.

  • We make sure that we understand the implications of each not just on the whole cohort, but on particularly those students who are likely to be disadvantage.

  • This is a divisive subject which splits the education profession often on the basis of school, type of school type of cohort where that cohort and school is.

  • But there is one source of agreement that whatever is to be done needs to be done quickly, that the nightmare scenario is getting to the spring beyond the spring and for the Department for Education to change the system at the last minute.

  • In other words, what the system needs most of all is what has been in shortest supply consistency.

  • This is a year group, perhaps even mawr unusual than the last.

  • They end every school day aware that all they've learned might no longer be needed.

  • All their working for might change when the next school day begins.

  • A new in this strange age of ours, it is our youngest wading through uncertainty on its worst.

  • Looks good all thank you.

  • We invited the government on the program, but they declined.

  • Joining me now are conservative MP David Simmons, a member of the Education Select Committee on Rebecca Pool head teacher off Hampton High School in Middlesex.

  • Welcome to you both.

  • Rebecca, If I may start with you, can you see why the Welsh government have scrapped exams?

  • So I think that I can I can see why they've made a decision.

  • They've obviously consulted widely and had to look at the what is going on on the implications of that on day action needed to be taken really rapidly, I think so that students and teachers know what is being expected of them.

  • We do need to ensure that we have a very fair and level playing field.

  • We've not just got the gaps through locked down that we are busy filling, but also that's compounded somewhat by the content that we're now teaching Onda also the issues that have been raised through inequality and access.

  • So I can absolutely understand why decisions are now being taken and I think it's very helpful because it's bought this whole issue back into the spotlight on bond.

  • Now what?

  • We're looking at a rob.

  • See students who are also in self isolation.

  • We have staffer in self isolation.

  • Andi.

  • I think we're in danger off seeing really vulnerable students, students who were vulnerable during the first lock down, who might become even mawr vulnerable through this lock down as well.

  • So let me ask you that.

  • Do you think it's fair for exams to take place next summer in the current form in England?

  • So I I think the situation at the moment is that some amendments have been made to the way that Children are going to be assessed.

  • But broadly speaking, the content has stayed the same.

  • Andi, I think given that we're talking about quite a long period where Children have bean out of education on whilst, yes, they have bean learning online.

  • Accessing something on a mobile phone is not quite the same as accessing it, for example, on the tablet.

  • So there is there's an issue there around equality of access on DSO.

  • I think some really consideration needs to be given about how these Children could really demonstrate what they can do on DWI.

  • Mustn't forget that these Children have got years and years of learning behind thumb, but also to acknowledge that we're operating and very, very challenging time.

  • Let's bring in David at this point because can you hear anything in this situation, especially what we're also hearing in our report there, that would make you think exams should be canceled in 2021 in England?

  • Examination, Zahra.

  • Great level.

  • And I think what we heard from young people is reflected in the evidence.

  • We know that particularly for youngsters who are vulnerable, who come from disadvantaged backgrounds tend to get better results in external examinations than they've got historically in Central s grade.

  • So it's important in regular time.

  • So it's really important that it would have been true this year as well if we looked at the outcomes for the algorithm that was used to give predicted grades versus what schools had predicted.

  • So it is important to try and make sure that those exams go ahead.

  • As we've just heard, the government has made efforts and we've heard a lot of evidence that the Education Select Committee for Ministers about this by changing the time of exams by shifting the order of exams to give the maximum possible chance for that to go ahead.

  • But of course we have to recognize there's a lot of uncertainty with co vid.

  • I think it's right.

  • We press ahead with trying to make sure that Children have that chance.

  • But there needs to be a good backup plan in place on the autumn Siris of exams for G.

  • C.

  • S.

  • C s that were taking place at the for students who perhaps were going to reset after what would have happened in the summer.

  • Those have been run by schools very successfully this autumn, so it has been proven that schools could do those exams even under the lock down conditions.

  • But the Welsh education minister said that they can't provide an even playing field.

  • So how can England what Wales is also going for a form of externally moderated exams.

  • So there has been some debate and we've seen it in the media today about whether what's been announced is the cancelation of exams or just exams in a different form.

  • But the key thing to remember is that in England we see ah lot more transition, particularly for students at the age of 16, 71% of Children in England change education institution at 16, and that's not the case in Wales and Scotland.

  • So those exams are really important.

  • Most of the youngsters themselves to meet their aspirations and to validate the efforts they put in so far, and also to the institutions that they're moving on to.

  • So they know that they're ready to start those.

  • There's a recognition by you hear that there is an issue around missed work, missed insights, what we've just been hearing there.

  • It's a three week delay.

  • But when you look at what the National Foundation for Educational Research puts out in terms of the gap right now, in the end of the summer, students were around three months behind expectations and that widened when they were looking at those in the poorest schools.

  • How is three weeks enough?

  • Well, certainly had teachers in my patch and head teachers nationally have been telling us that what they want to see is that three week delay.

  • They think that will allow them with the efforts that they've got in place with the extra resources that being put into enable catch up to give those young people are really fair chance when those exams happen, but we need to have those contingency plans as well.

  • But we need to make sure that there's that balance in the system.

  • Young people are saying they want the chance to really demonstrate what they could do, and the best way to do that is to do those proper exams that they want.

  • If they can't helpfully plan helpfully, Rebecca is in your patch or her MP and Rebecca is three weeks not to make this or could have never met before.

  • But is three weeks actually enough to carry out the same exams?

  • Essentially three weeks would not be enough to keep to carry out the same exams on.

  • Actually, I belong Teoh, a group of a large group of head teachers up and down the country on.

  • We really want to be part of the dialogue, part of the solution on bond.

  • What might work on but it would need to be discussed would be something along the lines off.

  • You take it down to one exam in all of the subjects you have some degree of optionality because the other thing we have to bear in mind is that before locked down students, even if they were studying the same syllabus, may well have studied different topics in different orders.

  • Eso reducing the number of exams.

  • But wouldn't that actually be limiting Children's education and are not giving them the greatest chance?

  • And the greatest breath?

  • I think if if we had something factored in that went along, the lines of Cem moderated with very clear criteria assessment around teacher assessment or teacher judgment that played into that on Dwyer a part of that as well.

  • I think something like that would be quite helpful.

  • There are lots and lots.

  • And just if I may, how how quickly would you need to know that by well, we would need to know pretty quickly because we've got to set the systems up.

  • We have to prepare the students properly.

  • We and Okay, well, let's put this today.

  • But if I may, just in terms of is there going to be a change in England because we've heard from number 10?

  • No change today, but we've seen things have had to move.

  • What do you read that as the situation?

  • Well, it's not my constituency, but certainly had teachers in my constituency have told me that they think the approach of the three week delay has beena helpful one.

  • But what we've heard we heard it this morning at the Education Select Committee from the head of Ofsted.

  • She's very, very concerned about the impact on young people of exams being canceled next year.

  • She wants to see the government make all possible efforts to give young people a chance.

  • I agree with that.

  • That's certainly what I hear from young people.

  • But I think it is something that we need to keep under review because we need to recognize with all the uncertainties that exist around Cove is under review.

  • You know there are.

  • There's a deadline with you.

  • You can excuse me in January.

  • Off call have already been given that instruction some time ago to look at what that Plan B would look at look like.

  • But, of course, we need to see how the covert situation develops.

  • And the concern, of course we all have is that there are risks to the alternative approaches as well that some groups have particularly disadvantaged by centrist s grades.

  • By teacher assessment on, we need to recognize that this is not a situation where this has benefits for everybody.

  • There'll be a negative impact on some students of the approach that's been taken in Wales.

  • So we need to look at what is the thing that gives our young fast the fairest possible chance Fast is the message as well.

  • Thank you very much to both of you for your time.

It's been the great experiment.

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Coronavirus: Will school exams be cancelled around the UK in 2021? - BBC Newsnight

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/11/11
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