Exam Dates and Changes - Summer 2021
16 Dec 2020
As you are probably aware, the Department for Education have recently announced exceptional exam measures which will be put in place for students doing exams in summer 2021, in order to improve fairness and prevent disruption.
Alongside the latest set of measures, we already know that exams have been pushed back by three weeks to allow more teaching time. This means the majority of exams will start from 7th June and finish on 2nd July. However, GCSE maths and GCSE English paper 1 will be the week before half term. This is to ensure students have the opportunity to sit at least one of the exam papers for each subject, which is crucial for them to obtain a grade.
English GCSE paper 1 – Wednesday 26th May
Maths GCSE paper 1 – Thursday 27th May
The new measures include contingency papers, for students who may miss all of their exams due to illness/isolation during their original timetable and cannot access the Special Consideration process. If students miss one or all of their exams but have completed a sufficient amount of Non-Examined Assessment (NEA), they may still be able to achieve a grade through the Special Consideration process. Students who miss exams due to coronavirus (COVID-19) will be expected to provide evidence to support the process.
We now know that the contingency exam dates will run from 28th June until 16th July and are timetabled to allow at least a 10-day gap after each subject’s final paper in the main exam series. It is important that your child remains available for exams up until and including the final date (16th July).
Additional measures also include:
• more generous grading than usual, in line with national outcomes from 2020, so students this year are not disadvantaged;
• students receiving advance notice of some topic areas covered in GCSE, AS and A levels to focus revision;
• exam aids - like formula sheets - provided in some exams giving students more confidence and reducing the amount of information they need to memorise;
• a new expert group to look at differential learning and monitor the variation in the impact of the pandemic on students across the country.
Measures such as advance notice of some topics will be communicated to students as and when the information becomes available, which is likely to be from January onwards.
For vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs), Ofqual has been working with the exam boards to agree a number of adaptations to these qualifications to take account of disruption, which are currently being implemented. For VTQs on performance tables, exam boards may also be able to reduce the number of optional units that are assessed. This will free up time to focus on teaching students all the knowledge and skills they need to progress to the next stage of their lives.
A-Level results day will be Tuesday 24th August 2021
GCSE results day will be Friday 27th August 2021
I hope this information helps with your planning for the year ahead. I’d also like to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy Christmas, from the Ashby School exams team.