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Daily News Summary
11 August 2021

Exams 2021: 'What next for schools?'
Kemi Badenoch could replace Gavin Williamson as education secretary

Exams 2021: 'What next for schools?'


In the latest Tes podcast, a panel of experts, including ISC chairman Barnaby Lenon, reflect on the 2021 A-level results and their implications for future exam cohorts. By Catherine Lough.

Tes continues to run a live blog rounding up the latest news relating to GCSE and A-level results 2021.

News outlets have been releasing their own editorial views following the publication of Year 13 results yesterday. According to BBC News, "this year the usual rules don't apply". By Sean Coughlan. iNews urges readers to "applaud the real heroes – students". By Will Hazell. A leading article in The Times states "the Government must ensure that public faith in the rigour of secondary education is maintained". The Guardian says "celebrating students deserve immense credit after surviving an educational ordeal".

Alice Phillips, headmistress of St Catherine’s School, has written to The Times pointing out all that young people have endured, and stating: "Their hard graft, and that of their teachers, should be a source of rejoicing." A letter from Richard Cairns, headmaster of Brighton College, suggests the Government should "step in quickly to provide significant funding to universities so that they can provide the additional teaching and support that many of these youngsters will need for some time to come". Both letters can be read a third of the way down the page.

The Guardian reports on the experiences of five A-level students, who detail the challenges of studying in a year disrupted by the pandemic and their experience of teacher-assessed grades. By David Batty and Jedidajah Otte.

The Times features comments from politicians and education experts, who warn the credibility of the A-level system risks being undermined by soaring grade inflation. By Nicola Woolcock, Eleni Courea and Matt Dathan.

According to iNews, there will be no "jolting back" or "sudden shock to the system" to return to the grade profile of 2019 but ministers are considering switching to a numerical grading system. By Will Hazell and Richard Vaughan.

Writing in The Guardian, Richard Adams says "switching to pre-COVID 'norm-referenced' grading in 2022 could sharply deflate results if adjustments are not made carefully".

According to official figures, record numbers of students have been accepted to study at Russell Group universities this autumn. By Camilla Turner, Ben Butcher and Lois Heslop, The Telegraph.

The Independent reports on a widening of the gap between private and state schools, which experts believe could result in poorer pupils being more likely than ever to miss out on top university courses. By Adam Forrest.

It is thought the Department for Education will cover most of the funding for a scheme which will pay £10,000 to medicine students to take up an alternative place if their chosen medical school is oversubscribed. By Freddie Whittaker, Schools Week.

Alice Thomson writes in The Times saying young people should embrace the chance to go to university but demand more careers help when they get there.

The Times reports that leading Scottish universities are turning away high achievers "due to huge demand for places after a second year of rampant grade inflation". By Mark McLaughlin.

Jim Scott, honorary professor of education at the University of Dundee, described Scottish exam results as “pure mince” because it would now be impossible to distinguish the cleverest pupils from average or good performers. By Daniel Sanderson, The Telegraph.


Kemi Badenoch could replace Gavin Williamson as education secretary


According to The Times, Boris Johnson might replace Gavin Williamson as education secretary and give the role to Kemi Badenoch. By Matt Dathan.

The Times


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