Welsh government warned cancelling 2021 exams could cause drop-out rates to rocket
THE Welsh government has been slammed for cancelling next year’s GCSE and A-level exams.
Education experts warned the move could backfire by causing drop-out rates to rocket.
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They urged England to stick to its guns and go ahead with next year’s exams as planned.
Welsh education minister Kirsty Williams said teens will be graded on their coursework and teacher assessment instead.
She claimed it would be “unfair” to have exams because of the lockdowns.
She said: “We remain optimistic that the public health situation will improve, but the primary reason for my decision is down to fairness.
“The time learners will spend in schools and colleges will vary hugely and, in this situation, it is impossible to guarantee a level playing field for exams to take place.”
Scotland has already ditched next year’s National 5 exams, the equivalent of GCSEs. But it is going ahead with Advanced Highers, its version of A-levels.
Firebrand teachers union the NEU seized on the decision to furiously demand that England tear up tests.
But No10 last night insisted they will go ahead as planned.
Tory MP Robert Halfon, boss of the education select committee, said it was barmy to axe exams when a Covid vaccine raised hopes the country could soon be back to normal.
He told The Sun: “If you scrap exams now what are kids going to do all year? Will they turn up to class?
"Will they lack that motivation you get when you are working towards exams? Now is not the time to do it.”
Lashing the leftie NEU, he added: “They should be concerned with providing kids with learning and structure rather than trying to close down schools and scrap exams.”
Ofsted boss Amanda Spielman also warned against ditching the exams.
PM Boris Johnson’s spokesman said: “There is no change in our own position in relation to exams.
"They will take place slightly later next year to give students more time to prepare.”
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