ASCL comment on plans for exams in 2022

12/07/2021
Julie McCulloch, Director of Policy at the Association of School and College Leaders, responds to the proposed adjustments for exams in 2022. 
 
Responding to the proposed adjustments for exams in 2022, Julie McCulloch, Director of Policy at the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
 
“Giving advance notice of the subject areas that will be examined in 2022 should allow students to focus their studies and reduce the risk that they will face questions on subjects they haven’t studied in sufficient depth because of the disruption caused by the pandemic.
 
“The key question is when this advance notice should be given. The proposal in this consultation is that this should happen in the spring term next year.
 
“There will be mixed views on this. Some school and college leaders will feel this is too late and that advance notice should be given earlier because students have been so badly affected and need this time. Others will feel this is the right decision in order to keep learning as broad as possible during the autumn term and avoid narrowing of the curriculum.
 
“We would encourage leaders to respond to the consultation and we would strongly urge the government and Ofqual to keep this matter under review and be prepared to bring advance notice forward if disruption continues next term.
 
“We are very concerned that the consultation does not include proposals for a contingency plan in the event that exams cannot go ahead in 2022. The last thing we want to see is exams cancelled again but given what has happened this year and last year it is simply a matter of common sense and prudence to map out a contingency plan at this stage. Students, teachers and leaders deserve to know what this would look like as soon as possible, so that they can plan accordingly, rather than decisions being left to the last minute yet again.”