Teacher assessment to replace this year's school exams

The last thing children need is a repeat of the problems last year in all four UK nations with the assessments which replaced exams. 

So I welcome the announced today by the government setting out exam results this year will be awarded and determined by teachers, providing the fairest possible system for pupils in the unusual circumstances that this year has been so badly disrupted by the coronavirus, so they can progress to the next stage of their education or career. I particularly welcome the fact that no algorithm will be used. 

As someone who uses statistics a lot in my professional life, I am only too aware that there things for which algorithms are very useful and things they cannot do. Assessing children fairly on the basis of data which does not exist in statistical form is one of the latter.

  • Young people have shown incredible resilience over the last year, continuing with their education amidst unprecedented challenges while the country has fought against coronavirus, and those efforts deserve to be fairly rewarded.
  • That is why this year, students will receive their GCSE and A-level grades from those who know them best – their teachers – who will be able to assess pupils through a combination of mock exams, coursework, and essays, and the optional use of questions provided by exam boards. No algorithm will be used.
  • Alongside the government's £700 million education recovery package and £1 billion Covid Catch Up Fund, these measures will ensure that students can get the grades that truly reflect their ability and potential, so they can progress to the next stage of their education or training, and get the future they deserve.


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