GCSE and A Level Exams 2020: A sensible way forward

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Dear Boris,
In this time of uncertainty and lack of clarity over matters regarding the education and future of a whole cohort of students about to take their GCSE and A level examinations here are the humble thoughts of a teacher with 21 years of experience......

Cancel all GCSE and A Level examinations this year. Postponing is a logistical nightmare and going ahead with them at this point is going to cause more stress and anxiety on a whole generation of students who are already suffering with an unprecedented level of mental health issues. 

How will this work? Simple... By showing you have as much trust and faith in teachers as you need to have in your NHS and other key personnel over the next few months.

1. Allow teachers to give honest predicted grades for their students. We know them as more than just statistics. We are not going to try to 'cheat the system'. Students have done the work - the only element they will be missing from their education is the final exam. Will some students gain a better grade than if they sat the final exam? Probably. Will there  be others that may well have done better had they had the opportunity to sit the exam under 'normal' conditions? Likely, but these are not normal conditions and teacher predictions will likely be a more accurate reflection of the vast majority of students educational journey over the past few years than a couple of hours writing a paper in these extraordinary times.

2. Allow any students who feel they could have done better than their prediction to re-sit the exam in November. This would be a completely voluntary option to be decided by the individual.

3. University places were offered on predicted grades, so there should be little effect there. In essence all places would be awarded 'unconditionally'.

4. Suspend all Ofsted inspections for the 2020-2021 academic year. Allow schools and students time to recover from any gap in education caused by closures without the added pressure of judgements by the inspectorate.

We are trained professionals. You defer to medical experts in a time of crisis. You also need to defer to your educational experts during this same time.

Yours Sincerely
A Teacher