Update on public examinations announcement

Dear Parents and Guardians,

This evening, Wednesday 18th March, in his daily COVID-19 focused press conference the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson announced that the public examinations due to be taken in May or June of this year will not take place. In other words, it seems that GCSE and A level exams are unlikely to take place this summer as planned.

As of the time of writing we have no further information as to what the consequences of this decision means for our pupils. The Prime Minister made a clear promise that young people will be able to obtain the qualifications that they need to move to the next stage of their education.

The Prime Minister’s announcement was reinforced by a statement from the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson MP:

“I can confirm that we will not go ahead with assessments or exams, and that we will not be publishing performance tables for this academic year. We will work with the sector and have to ensure children get the qualifications that they need.”

Whilst there will no doubt be a huge collective sigh of relief at this decision, many questions remain. At the risk of sounding like a right old bore it is vital that pupils in Key Stage 4 – Year 10 and 11, and Key Stage 5 – Year 12 and 13 maintain the excellent work habits that they have shown during this week’s remote learning.

Now is not the time to start the summer holiday, now is the time to carry on with sensible, conscientious and steady academic study. If students stop working now, I fear that there will be grave consequences down the line. We all need additional information before we decide to change our approach.

Tomorrow is another day and it is important that we approach it in the way that we have approached today – calmly, sensibly and following the timetable as normal.
As soon as I have more information, I will pass it on.

Yours sincerely,

Nicholas Hammond