What proposal has been made for 2022 exams?


Exams may still need to be adapted in 2022 to support pupils, the head of Ofqual has warned.

Simon Lebus, the interim chief regulator, has suggested that changes similar to those proposed prior to the 2021 exams being cancelled may need to be made.

Initial proposals for this summer – developed prior to the closure of schools – included an element of generous grading, alongside the prospect of pupils having exam aids and being told key topics in advance.

Speaking to the education select committee, Mr Lebus put forward the idea that support will still be needed next year, as a number of pupils have seen their learning severely disrupted.

“So far as 2022 is concerned, the thinking at the moment about adaptations along the line that had been originally contemplated for this year when exams were still to go ahead,” he said.

“That’s based on the reality of the cohort taking exams next year will have suffered considerable disruption to their learning, though we would hope not on the scale and at the level that has been suffered by this year’s cohort.”

He added that any exams “would be adapted to reflect the learning disruption” that has taken place when responding to questions from ministers around whether grade inflation could be present for years to come.

Mr Lebus said he recognised that the pandemic will have lasting impacts and that policy will need to be developed to deal with that.

He added that a period of reflection would be needed in the longer-term in order to find solutions that take account of the disruption and which do not leave pupils disadvantaged.

The interim chief regulator’s previous incumbent, Dame Glenys Stacey, who held the role from September to December 2020, has previously warned of a “long backwash to this pandemic in education.”

She had also suggested that returning to standards from before the pandemic in the immediate aftermath of it “wouldn’t be fair” to pupils.

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