Exams 2021: Whistling in the dark, once again

As Ofqual consults over how this summer’s examinations are to be graded, Dr Mary Bousted is saddened yet not surprised that teachers will once again be left to pick up the pieces from a lack of government planning

“A lesson learned” is something that Gavin Williamson appears to be incapable of doing – which is ironic given his position as secretary of state for education.

Last summer’s abject failure to manage the awarding process for GCSE, A level and vocational courses caused outrage among pupils, parents and the public. It was as much of a cut-through story as Dominic Cummings’ eye-sight test in Barnard Castle. You would have thought that ministers would do anything to avoid further humiliation. But no, apparently not.

And so, this January teachers once again find themselves in the same position. The exams cannot go ahead – despite Gavin Williamson’s repeated assurances throughout the autumn term that they would not be cancelled – and something must be done.

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