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Commenting on the statement delivered by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson today that teacher assessed grades will replace GCSE and A-Level exams in 2021, Patrick Roach, General Secretary of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:

“In the context of the current lockdown, the level of disruption already experienced by pupils and the government’s handling of the pandemic over the last nine months has left no other option than the cancelling of exams this summer.

“However, we cannot risk a repeat of the chaos that engulfed exam results last summer.

“Pupils and teachers now need urgent clarity and further detail of how the arrangements for teacher assessed grades will be made workable.

“The Government has lost the confidence of many pupils, parents and teachers after last year’s debacle and it will be critical that the arrangements for how pupils’ skills and knowledge are to be assessed and graded are transparent, urgently communicated and, vitally, that they ensure fairness for all pupils.

“Teachers are already under incredible amounts of pressure as a result of the Government’s chronic mismanagement of the pandemic. The arrangements adopted for assessing pupils’ grades must be developed in consultation with the profession and must keep workload and bureaucracy to a minimum.

“The Education Secretary says he is putting his trust in teachers by turning to teacher assessed grades, but he must also show them his respect by recognising and learning from his mistakes of the last nine months.”

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