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GCSEs and A-Levels will go ahead next year, Williamson says

UK students will be given more generous grades and advance notice on topics in order to be advantaged rather than disadvantaged.


Pandemic even cancelled GCSEs and A-Levels this year and has closed schools doors making UK students lose months of education. This year ‘exams will go ahead’, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said.

GCSEs and A-Levels to go ahead in 2021

After tests were cancelled this summer, the UK Government took the decision to give students grades based on teachers assessments and at first through an algorithm which was then discredited and immediately taken out of the plan.

As Government managed to run tests during the national lockdown, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson confirmed he is confident that tests will not have to be cancelled next year. He confirmed: “Tens of thousands of students have been taking those GCSE and A-level exams all the way through that national lockdown, and that’s been done safely and securely and successfully. I have every confidence if we’ve been able to run a whole set of exams for GCSEs and A-levels during a national lockdown, we have every ability to run those same set of exams in the summer of next year.”

Williamson said UK students will be given more generous grades after what they have been through during pandemic and they will be given advance notice of some topics ahead of exams. Also, if a student will have to miss an exam due to illness or self-isolation they will be given a second chance to sit a second test.

The Department for Education wants to make sure UK pupils will be advantaged rather than disadvantaged, developing ways of giving students aids in their exams to boost their confidence. Students will be able to still receive a grade although missing one or more exams due to illness, as long as they had completed a proportion of their qualification. Also, clinically vulnerable pupils will be given the opportunity to sit an exam at home.

Education Secretary Williamson said the Department for Education was going to give all the support they could to ensure student would not be facing other disruptions to their learning journey and for this reason, exceptional steps will be taken to make sure pupils feel supported to achieve ‘every success’. He said: “Exams are the best way of giving young people the opportunity to show what they can do, which is why it’s so important they take place next summer. But this isn’t business as usual. I know students are facing unprecedented disruption to their learning. That’s why exams will be different next year, taking exceptional steps to ensure they are as fair as possible”. He continued: “I am determined to support students, parents and teachers in these unprecedented times and hope measures like more generous grading and advance notice of some topic areas will give young people the clarity and confidence they need to achieve every success.”


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