"Equality of access to laptops and the internet for online learning have been an issue for pupils, while the closure of schools will have an impact on all children."
Responding to the Department for Education today announcing that most AS, A-levels and GCSEs will be held three weeks later next year to help address the disruption caused by the pandemic, Cllr Judith Blake, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said
“We appreciate greater certainty given to exam dates next year, but further consideration needs to be given about whether a single exam is still the fairest way to assess pupils who have been most adversely affected by not being able to go to school.
“Equality of access to laptops and the internet for online learning have been an issue for pupils, while the closure of schools will have an impact on all children.
“A fair and comprehensive assessment is essential in this most extraordinary year. Previous results and teacher assessments need to be taken into account to ensure sure children don’t miss out because of a virus over which they have not control, while the possible impact of local lockdowns and self-isolation levels on the quality of pupil education also needs to be considered.
“The needs of young people who have fallen behind in their schoolwork through no fault of their own should be our first priority. For these reasons, the fairness of a single, high stakes exam needs to be carefully considered.
“Councils have worked hard with schools to keep pupils learning in the classroom and at home during the pandemic and want to ensure every young person’s exams are subject to a fair grading system given the unprecedented circumstances. We look forward to seeing further details on the contingency measures outlined in the announcement.”