The return of examinations this summer reminds us of the unfairness and fragility of a system focused almost entirely on terminal exams and reinforces the case for reform, says Geoff Barton

The looming prospect of the first set of summer exams in three years will have already felt fraught for students and their teachers. Now they have the added concern of a new wave of Covid infections causing disruption in many schools and colleges.

The students who will shortly take part in the resumption of one of the annual rituals of British life have experienced arguably more educational upheaval than any group of young people to sit in an exam hall since the Second World War.

They have spent the whole of the past two years learning in the shadow of the coronavirus crisis, including the closure of schools and colleges to most pupils for the majority of last year’s spring term, as well as periods of isolation and illness among both themselves and their teachers caused by waves of infections at other times.

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