Teacher assessment will be used to replace cancelled GCSEs and A-levels this year in England, the education secretary has said.

Referring back to last August’s grading fiasco, Gavin Williamson said in a statement to the commons that he would "trust in teachers rather than algorithms”, the BBC reports.

He also confirmed there would be no Year 6 Sats tests in primary schools for the second year running.

Mr Williamson added that it would be "mandatory" for schools to provide "high-quality remote education" of three to five hours per day and that Ofsted inspectors would check that this was delivered.

His comments prompted anger on social media with some educators claiming he was setting up parents against schools.

Mr Williamson said: "I can confirm that GCSEs, A-levels and AS level exams will not go ahead this summer. This year we’re going to put our trust in teachers rather than algorithms.

"The department and Ofqual had already worked up a range of contingency options. While the details will need to be fine tuned in consultation with Ofqual, the exam boards, and teaching representative organisations I can confirm now that I wish to use a form of teacher assessed grades with training and support provided to ensure these are awarded fairly and consistently across the country."

There would be a two-week "further detailed consultation by Ofqual"  starting next week, he added.

"It’s very important that we do get feedback from the sector in order to be able to ensure that the details of this policy are properly understood and work best not just for schools and colleges but most importantly for those who are receiving the grades," Mr Williamson said.

Mr Williamson said he would consider releasing GCSE and A-level grades earlier than the usual results day to leave more time for appeals, resits and university admissions.

Geoff Barton, leader of the ASCL head teachers' union, said that it was a "dereliction of duty" that a detailed plan to replace exams was not already prepared.

Mr Williamson's statement came as all GCSE, AS and A-level exams in Northern Ireland were cancelled due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Scotland has already cancelled its Nationals, Highers and Advanced Highers and GCSEs and A-levels in Wales were ditched in November.