Prime Minister Boris Johnson has indicated that exams will be cancelled for the second year running, due to disruption caused by the ongoing Covid crisis.
Announcing a new national lockdown and mass school closures across the whole of England, he said exams would not take place “as normal” due to the steep rise in infections.
Mr Johnson said: “Because we have to now do everything we possibly can to stop the spread of the disease, primary schools, secondary schools and colleges across England must move to a remote provision from tomorrow except for vulnerable children and the children of key workers…
“We recognise that this means it’s not possible or fair for all exams to go ahead this summer as normal.
“The education secretary will work with Ofqual to put in place alternative arrangements.”
Tonight it was not clear exactly which exams would be affected, and what Mr Johnson meant by “alternative arrangements”, but FE Week has reported that Btec and other vocational exams due to take place this month will go ahead.
Primary and secondary schools are expected to remain open for in-person learning for vulnerable and keyworker children. All other children will be taught remotely from home.
The move prompted anger from parents and teachers in some areas who asked why they had been forced to go in for one day, despite concerns over safety and increasing the spread of the virus.
Some independent schools have successfully brought in Covid testing regimes and were looking forward to in-person teaching this term.
Nurseries are to remain open thoroughout the new national lockdown period.