Cancelling exams hits the poorest hardest

Cancelling exams hits the poorest hardest

The abandonment of GCSE and A-Levels this summer is unnecessary and will further degrade confidence in the system.

The decision to cancel exams has been taken too early – it shows a lack of ambition and is a major disservice to the students.

With the Covid vaccine being rolled out the exams could have been pushed back and if that meant teachers working during some of their holidays then so be it.

Children’s education is more important than teachers’ holidays. The vast majority of teachers want to do what’s best for their students.

Exams are the best and most reliable method we have of assessing young people. Two years without them is storing up problems for the future.

It necessarily leads to grade inflation which will severely limit the ability of universities and employers to choose the right candidates.

Some students will go to university because they have the grades when they would have been far better off taking the vocational route.

This is the generation which will have to help pay off the colossal debts we have racked up and it’s in all our interests to have them as educated as possible, and that means having proper exams.

Teacher assessments are unreliable and as there is no standardisation or moderation in place results will vary between teachers and between schools.

In previous years when there were large coursework elements, it was very unreliable.

We already know it is not the answer. Coursework and assessments were trialled – and they failed.

Some are using the argument that independent schools have been able to teach their children remotely in a more effective way and this gives them an unfair advantage.

I would argue that we don’t fix something by lowering expectations but by giving state school children the necessary support they require.

Everything must be done to ensure the poorest and most disadvantaged are helped.

Exams are a way of cutting through privilege, enabling those from poorer backgrounds to shine. So it is heartbreaking to see the exams cancelled.