More than 60,000 teachers have signed a petition calling for a reduction in exam content this academic year, amid uncertainty around GCSEs and A-levels, The TES reports.

The NEU teaching union launched a petition calling for subject content to be reduced and a “robust” system to be put in place for teacher-assessed grades in the event that the exams are cancelled because of Covid.

The union said students had missed months of lessons and the exams they sit in the summer “must reflect this lost learning time".

"[Exams] must be slimmed down by making some topics optional to allow for the different order in which content will have been taught across the country," it said.

Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the NEU, said: “This petition was launched before the full opening of schools in September and prior to the many examples of schools having to send pupils home due to new cases of Covid-19.

"Our warnings were prescient. There is a clear disruption to learning, and a geographical unevenness. There is an emerging postcode lottery for exams in 2021.  

“Any sensible observer can see there will not be a level playing field for exams next year, and it is deeply irresponsible of Gavin Williamson to conclude – as he recently did – that a three-week delay to summer exams in 2021 will be sufficient to make the system fair."