Ofqual welcomes DfE announcement on 2021 exams

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Ofqual welcomes today’s announcement that GCSE, AS and A level exams will go ahead in England next summer. And we strongly support the revised timetable, with almost all exams now to be sat after the summer half term. Exams are the fairest way to assess what students know and can do.

In July, Ofqual announced changes to the subject content in some GCSEs and to the detailed assessment arrangements for GCSE, AS and A levels. No changes have been made to those decisions. The curriculum is settled, and now students and teachers have greater certainty about how and when students will be assessed.

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We have worked with the Department for Education (DfE) and exam boards to map out a timeline to allow the majority of summer GCSE, AS and A level exams to start on 7 June, with results days taking place in late August. Students studying level 1 and 2, and level 3 vocational and technical qualifications instead of, or alongside, GCSEs, AS and A levels and needing their results to progress, will receive their results no later than their peers.

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Interim Chief Regulator Dame Glenys Stacey said: “During the pandemic, teachers and students are having to work in exceptional ways, to catch up and keep up with learning. These arrangements optimise the time now available for that, providing the best part of three extra weeks extra teaching and learning for many. And with this and the subject content for these qualifications now settled, teachers and students have some welcome certainty in these uncertain times.

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“Of course, we will need contingency plans. We are discussing with government, exam boards and the sector, the detail of that – taking into account the risk of disruption at an individual, local and regional level.”

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