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Commenting on the publication of A-level results, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:

“Students, teachers and school leaders have worked extremely hard to secure this year’s results in the face of unique and hugely difficult circumstances. School and college staff deserve recognition of the huge pressures and additional workload they have faced in producing centre assessed grades and young people deserve praise for the tenacity they have shown in dealing with the huge uncertainties and anxieties of the last 18 months.

“The challenges of the awarding process this year were significantly exacerbated by minister’s delay in drawing up contingency plans.

“Whilst schools have done a tremendous job in picking up the pieces left of minister’s last-minute decision-making, many teachers were left running on empty with teacher workload at breaking point at the end of last term. We cannot afford a repeat of this confusion and chaos for yet another year.

“In looking ahead to plans for qualifications in 2022 the NASUWT has made it clear to ministers and regulators that mitigations and contingency plans will still be needed. Such mitigations should include a slimmed down package of subject content and the provision of a choice of subject topics across all subjects and qualifications to help reduce the pressures on pupils and teachers and reflect the impact of the disruption to their learning pupils have faced over the last 18 months.

“Teachers and young people need a system for next year’s qualifications which is realistic and responsive to the continuing challenge of the pandemic on students’ education.”

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