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The Welsh exams regulator is recommending GCSE exams be scrapped in favour of assessments next summer, while some A-level papers would remain.

 

Qualifications Wales said this was the best way of ensuring fairness to pupils, while offering certainty over what will happen in uncertain times.

 

The Scottish government took a similar move, only keeping exams for Highers – its A-level equivalent.

 

In England, the government is insisting all national exams will go ahead.

 

But its exams regulator, Ofqual, is consulting on how GCSE and A-level exams can be modified so they are held fairly next summer.

 

The Westminster government has already said exams will go ahead, but three weeks later than usual and over a condensed period of three weeks. However, further changes and contingency plans for exams are expected to be announced within weeks.

 

Missed learning

Wales’s education minister Kirsty Williams will now consider the issue and is set to announce a decision on 10 November.

 

Pupils across the UK have lost months of learning due to the school shutdown in the last academic year, and many have missed periods of schooling this term because of Covid-related reasons.

 

It said rising Covid-19 infection rates had created challenges for schools since they reopened, with hundreds of thousands of pupils and staff being sent home following outbreaks of the virus.The think tank’s analysis shows that in areas with the highest rates of the virus in the UK, such as the north-west of England, as many as four in 10 secondary pupils were unable to attend school during October.The research also suggests that in the first half of the autumn term, the most deprived areas in the UK were more likely to have seen lower pupil attendance.