A TEACHER is calling for GCSE and A level exams to be scrapped for 2021 and replaced them with moderated teacher assessment grades.

The Government has decided continue with exams in 2021 despite schools experiencing increasing levels of disruption because of the coronavirus. Town and District councillor for Pershore, Cllr Dan Boatright says this level of disruption has created unfair disadvantages and it is also acutely variable across the country, with some pupils able to attend consistently, whereas others have been unwell or had to self-isolate.

On Thursday November 5, Dame Glenys Stacey, Ofqual’s acting chief regulator, wrote to the Education Secretary in an effort to make the exam papers 'less daunting' saying the changes being explored were to compensate for the amount of schooling which pupils had lost.

Cllr Boatright, who is also an A level teacher and examiner said: "If we are marking differently and moving the goal posts then there is no comparison between this year and the last, so why try to keep a system that is just not fit for purpose? Our teachers and young people are working tirelessly in unprecedented times but if we start now, we can work with universities, schools, colleges, exam boards and Ofqual to build internal assessments that are rigorous, fair and take into account the fact that many students have had to self-isolate, manage illness and even bereavement over the past year."

The former Worcester Sixth Form tutor said: "Trying to keep the existing system continues to create an inequality for poorer students, who are not able to access private tuition, have been failed by the government on funding for computers and have struggled to access tests when falling ill. We need to work together to ensure that all our young people can succeed, not just those at schools that can afford their own testing regime."

Dame Glenys stated in her letter that: “We are looking at what further steps we could take to make these exams less daunting a prospect for students, while of course making sure they remain a fair test of knowledge and understanding in each subject.”

“We will be intent on making sure that results are sufficiently valid and fair across subjects, but there is nevertheless in our view an opportunity to recognise, and to compensate for the baleful impact of the pandemic for all students qualifying in 2021 (and possibly beyond), by setting national performance standards more generously than in normal times.”

Cllr Boatright responded:“This continued confusion is adding to the anxiety of young people. While we saw significant grade inflation in August, we can develop a system that is fair to all, does not penalise young people but assesses in a fair and systematic fashion. Trying to maintain the status quo is impossible as we do not know what will happen in the coming months. The suggestion of a three week delay to exams does not offset the loss of months of learning, and there are some exams that have actually moved to earlier dates as exam boards try to accommodate the new timetable.”