ASCL comment on plans over cancelled exams

20/03/2020
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders responds to the government announcement about how grades will be awarded following the decision to cancel all exams. 
 
Responding to the government announcement about how grades will be awarded following the decision to cancel all exams, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

We feel desperately sorry for students who have been building for exams and no longer have the opportunity to take them. The teacher assessment system outlined today leaves many questions unanswered and will clearly require more detail.

But we are where we are, and we are confident that Ofqual, the exam boards, schools, and colleges will do everything possible to ensure grades are awarded fairly and consistently in these difficult circumstances

Teachers are experts in their subjects, they know these qualifications inside out, they know their students, and they have the professional skills to assess them accurately. We do not subscribe to the notion that exams are the only credible way of assessing qualifications, and this is an opportunity to at least point the way to a less brutal system.

We will now work with Ofqual on the detail of these plans, providing the perspective of our members in making sure this approach is as good as it can be. We are pleased that there will be an opportunity for students who are unhappy with their grades to sit exams at a later date as this provides an extra level of assurance for these young people.”