YOUNG VOICES

Manchester Schools Given Power To Cancel GCSE And A Level Exams Following Suicide Bombing

Exam boards say they will make special considerations for pupils affected.

23/05/2017 10:43 BST | Updated 23/05/2017 11:24 BST

Headteachers in Manchester have been given the power to cancel GCSE and A Level exams after a terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert in the city last night. 

At least 22 people, including children, have been killed and a further 59 injured after a suicide bomber struck at Manchester Arena around 10:30pm. 

Singer Grande, who found fame as a child star on Nickelodeon, is particularly popular among teenagers, who it is believed made up much of the audience last night. 

Christopher Furlong via Getty Images
Many of the audience at the Ariana Grande concert last night were teenagers 

Thousands of teens across the country are currently in the midst of GCSE and A Level exams, with papers typically sat between May and June. 

But exam watchdog Ofqual has now said that headteachers are “best placed to decide whether exams should go ahead as planned”.  

In a statement released this morning, an Ofqual spokesperson said: “Many students and teachers are likely to have been affected by the tragic events in Manchester last night.  

“We will consider with the exam boards how the provisions that are normally made for students who are unable to sit their exams when planned, or who take their exams but whose performance might be affected, will be applied.” 

The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ), which acts as voice for the UK’s six biggest exam boards, said it will make sure that “no student is disadvantaged” by the attack.  

A spokesperson said: “Schools and colleges affected by the bombing should contact the relevant exam boards. Students affected should speak to their teachers.” 

End-of-year exams are set to go ahead at the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Salford, though university leaders have warned that disruptions are likely. 

If you have any information for police about the attack, please call the anti-terror hotline on 0800 789 321.