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The Government is considering delaying the 2021 GCSE exams in England due to concerns of lost learning caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Department for Education is in discussions with Ofqual about moving exams back to give pupils more time to study for their GCSEs and A-levels.

Education experts have reported that the pandemic could set some students back as far as 12 months in their education, prompting pressure on schools to help get students caught up.

What could happen with GCSE exams?

Schools were closed to all students, except for key worker and vulnerable children on 20 March.

Students are required to learn from home. However in deprived areas as many as 70% of pupils are not returning work.

Teachers’ leaders have said that pupils who are preparing for exams next summer have not had sufficient time to cover everything on the syllabus.

But could exams be moved?

What has the Government said so far?

Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, recently addressed the idea of moving exams back in the house of commons. 

Responding to Conservative MP, Alec Shelbrooke’s suggestion that exams could be moved to July to give students more time in the classroom, Williamson said:

My honourable friend raises an important point about how do we add more teaching time in, and that’s why we will be consulting with Ofqual about how we can move those exams back, giving children extra time in order to be able to learn and really flourish and do incredibly well.

What is Ofqual’s view on moving GCSE exams?

Regarding the possibility of GCSE exams moving to a later time, Ofqual said:

We recognise students expecting to take exams next year, and their parents and teachers, are concerned about the disruption to teaching and learning caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

We are working closely with the Department for Education, exam boards and groups representing teachers, schools, colleges and students, to carefully consider a range of possible measures. We are planning to publish for consultation, before the end of term, our proposals for 2021.

Could GCSE exams move online?

A number of types of exams have moved online due to restrictions on training centres and other settings.

A secure online examination platform means the exam can take place within the pupils’ home. 

Using a secure platform means the exam can take place with integrity.

EDExams specialises in the development of software which is specific to the delivery of exams.

A range of features ensure the facility is secure. Online invigilation means the security of the exam is protected by an invigilator. 

Read benefits of online invigilation here.

Using the EDExams system means you:

  • Have online authority/validation of test questions
  • Can maintain the question bank
  • Can create automatic generation of tests
  • Can deliver secure online delivery of tests to candidates
  • Benefit from automated marketing
  • Receive detailed test results
  • Can easily audit test activity
  • Are giving equal opportunity to all candidates 

To find out more, call 01909 568 338 or contact us here.