Delay GCSE And A-level Exams To Help Pupils Catch Up, Says Labour

Shadow education secretary Kate Green said Year 11 and 13 students face "a mountain to climb" after losing up to six months of teaching time.

Next year’s GCSE and A-level exams should be pushed back to help pupils cope with the impact of the coronavirus crisis, Labour has said.

Shadow education secretary Kate Green said exams due next May should be delayed until June or July so students can be given time to catch up after losing up to six months of teaching time.

She warned pupils going into Year 11 and 13 could face “a mountain to climb” unless the timetable is changed.

“Pupils across the country who have missed out on vital teaching time will have a mountain to climb to prepare for May exams unless the Government steps in,” Green said.

“Ministers had warning after warning about problems with this year’s exam results, but allowed it to descend into a fiasco.

“This is too important for Boris Johnson to leave until the last minute. Pupils heading back to school need clarity and certainty about the year ahead.”

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said Labour’s plan was “worthy of serious consideration”.

“What is most important is that we don’t see a repeat of this year’s chaos,” he said.

“Poor planning and last-minute changes by the Government caused misery for many students. It would be indefensible if that happened again.

“A delay is not without its problems, a consequential delay to the publication of results will put pressure on higher education providers such as universities and colleges as well as employers. All this will need to be dealt with.”

A spokesperson from the Department of Education said: “We recognise that students due to take exams next summer will have experienced disruption to their education, which is why we prioritised bringing Year 10 and Year 12 pupils back to school last term.

“Exams will go ahead next year, and we have been working closely with the sector, Ofqual and exam boards to consider our approach.”


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