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UK: Teachers to award grades for students to proceed to next stage

By Oluwaseun Sonde

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The United Kingdom (UK) Government has announced that Students will receive grades awarded and determined by teachers, with pupils only assessed on what they have been taught in fairness and flexibility manner to ensure young people get to their next stage of education or training.

The Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson who made this known on Thursday, said teachers will able to draw on a range of evidence when determining grades, including the optional use of questions provided by exam boards, as well as mock exams, coursework, or other work completed.

According to her, “Young people have shown incredible resilience over the last year, continuing with their learning amidst unprecedented challenges while the country battles with this pandemic. Those efforts deserve to be fairly rewarded.

“That’s why we are providing the fairest possible system for those pupils, asking those who know them best, their teachers to determine their grades, with our sole aim to make sure all young people can progress to the next stage of their education or career”.

Williamson recognised that many students need their vocational and technical qualifications to enter into work. “Exams and practical assessments in these courses are essential for the students to progress to the next stage, and so it’s right that these continue”.

Furthermore, Teachers will submit grades to exam boards by 18 June, allowing as much teaching time as possible before teachers make their assessments. Results days for GCSE, A level and some vocational qualifications will take place in the week of 9 August – moved forward from the week of the 23 August.

These earlier dates provide additional time for appeals to be completed, so students reliant on those outcomes to achieve their university offer have the best chance of accessing a place. To support teachers in making their judgements, exam boards will provide detailed guidance before the end of the spring term.

Staff across education have been going above and beyond to support young people through the pandemic, and the guidance published by boards will be designed to minimise any additional burden this year’s awarding process may place in teachers and staff.

Students studying vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs) that are often taught alongside GCSEs and A levels on one or two year courses, and used for university or college places, will also receive grades assessed by teachers rather than sitting exams.

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