A-Levels ‘will be delayed next summer by three weeks’

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Minister are preparing to delay next year’s A-Level exams by three weeks to compensate for pupils’ disrupted education, it was claimed last night.

Gavin Williamson is expected to soon announce a revised exams timetable to give teenagers more time to catch up on missed learning. 

The Education Secretary is adamant exams will go ahead after a bruising summer under siege from furious students, parents and teachers over the use of a controversial algorithm to calculate marks, which led to widespread downgrading. 

His demands are being relayed by the department’s director of operations David Brown, who the Telegraph reports has held a series of private meetings in which he disclosed plans to push back exams until mid-July.

Gavin Williamson is expected to soon announce a revised exams timetable to give teenagers more time to catch up on missed learning

Gavin Williamson is expected to soon announce a revised exams timetable to give teenagers more time to catch up on missed learning

Ofqual boss Dame Glenys Stacey reportedly backs the Government's extension to the exam timetable and is busy mapping out a strategy to ensure that papers are graded before the start of the university term in 2021

Ofqual boss Dame Glenys Stacey reportedly backs the Government’s extension to the exam timetable and is busy mapping out a strategy to ensure that papers are graded before the start of the university term in 2021

The Department for Education last night said ‘a possible short delay to the exam timetable’ is a live discussion after being proposed by the regulator Ofqual.  

Ofqual boss Dame Glenys Stacey reportedly backs the Government’s extension to the exam timetable and is busy mapping out a strategy to ensure that papers are graded before the start of the university term in 2021.   

Downing Street is understood to have decreed exams to go ahead next year after refusing to bow to critics urging them to be scrapped.  

Lord Baker of Dorking, who served as Margaret Thatcher’s education secretary, called on the Government to ditch exams for fear of leaving poorer students at a disadvantage.

The Conservative peer told the Telegraph pupils from deprived backgrounds would have ‘great difficulty catching up’. 

Similarly the chair of the Commons education committee, Robert Halfon, asked ministers to ‘urgently’ assess how much students were lagging behind in their learning before finalising plans.

Lord Baker of Dorking, who served as Margaret Thatcher's education secretary, called on the Government to ditch exams for fear of leaving poorer students at a disadvantage

Lord Baker of Dorking, who served as Margaret Thatcher’s education secretary, called on the Government to ditch exams for fear of leaving poorer students at a disadvantage

But Government sources suggested last night that the wheels are in motion for a summer exam season next year, stressing that ‘exams and assessments are the best and fairest way of judging students’ performance’.  

A Department for Education spokesperson said: ‘We expect exams to take place next year and continue to work with Ofqual and the exam boards on our approach, recognising that students will have experienced considerable disruption to their education in the last academic year.

‘There are a range of measures proposed by Ofqual following a public consultation, including a possible short delay to the exam timetable and subject-specific changes to reduce pressure on teaching time. 

‘We will continue to work with school and college stakeholders, Ofqual and the exam boards, to ensure that exams in 2021 are fair.’

Schools were closed in March when the first wave of coronavirus gathered pace and only reopened in September.

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