Exams in the new academic year could be delayed to July to give a chance for students to catch up with missed work, The Times reports.

The newspaper says it understands the education secretary Gavin Williamson is considering pushing back the date from May after consulting with the exams watchdog  Ofqual.

A decision on the matter is imminent, according to schools minister Nick Gibb, who told BBC Breakfast: “We’ll make a decision as soon as we can.

“We have to also take into account the other nations in the UK that use the GCSE and A-levels, to take into account their issues as well, but we will be making a decision, with the regulator and the exam boards, very soon.”

The Labour Party has already called for a delay because students have missed five months of teaching.

Kate Green, the shadow education secretary, said: “Pupils across the country who have missed out on vital teaching time will have a mountain to climb to prepare for May exams unless the government steps in.

“Ministers had warning after warning about problems with this year’s exam results, but allowed it to descend into a fiasco.

Ms Green said the issue was “too important for Boris Johnson to leave to the last minute. Pupils heading back to school need clarity and certainty”.

Pic: Richard Townshend