Alongside a roadmap to return the UK to normality, the government made three decisions last week in an effort to reassure teachers, parents, students and tutors alike. Whilst uncertainty still lingers, the path ahead for GCSE and A-Level students is now undoubtedly clearer.
Firstly, with the aim to leave no child behind, the government announced an extra £400m in funding to bolster the £300m announced in January. The ‘catch-up’ funds are ultimately to be used at the schools’ discretion, however, the government stressed that making up for lost time is the top priority. Funding is expected to be directed towards:
- Financial recovery, such as paying for teacher’s overtime
- A new summer school initiative
- Clubs and extra-curricular activities
- National Tutoring Programme (NTP)
- Early years language development
Secondly, as our last post from 20th Jan predicted, teachers can expect to be fully responsible for deciding students’ grades at GCSE and A-Level. In comparison to last year, when Ofqual u-turned on their decision to use a contentious algorithm to decide students’ grades, teachers will now have the final say. Although it will be up to each school to decide exactly how their students are graded, it is anticipated coursework, mock exams and essays will be used primarily to inform teachers’ judgements.
Moreover, the door has been left ajar for students who would prefer to take written exams in Autumn, an option subject to COVID-safety requirements being met, and further delays to students’ education.
However, with a free appeals system in place and an earlier results day for both A-Levels and GCSE amid widespread concern about grade inflation, the government is not anticipating results day to be smooth-sailing for all involved.
Thirdly and finally, as set-out in the roadmap for easing the national lockdown, the priority is getting students back into face-to-face education full time. To increase safety, the government has explained their policy on masks and testing, with twice weekly home-testing for secondary pupils encouraged, and mask wearing compulsory for students who can wear them. Alongside the intensified vaccination effort, the wider goal is for students to return to school safely in September, and for interruptions to be kept at a minimum in the years to come.
Through one-to one private tuition from the UKs finest tutors and mentors reinforced by tailored education advice, Think Tutors have every subject at every level covered. Throughout the last year, our tutors and mentors have continued to provide assurance at a time of uncertainty. Our goal is to clarify the educational journey for our students, instilling a confidence and consistency in their learning which will heighten their understanding and ultimately drive results.