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Will 2021 exams be a fiasco too?

A former chief executive of Ofqual discusses what fairness looks like

By Isabel Nisbet  

Photo: David Davies/PA Wire/PA Images

This summer’s cancellation of exams (GCSEs, A levels and their equivalents) and subsequent confusion over the awarding of grades was widely described as a “fiasco.” Students, whose learning had been disrupted for months because of lockdown, had a bruising experience as the grading policies changed. We know that, in aggregate, the grades eventually awarded were much higher than would be expected in normal times.

No one knows whether it will be practicable—or safe—to run a programme of national exams next summer. In these…

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