HomeWorld NewsGCSEs and A-levels may be postponed to autumn due to coronavirus as school closures crisis talks to be held today – The Sun
GCSEs and A-levels may be postponed to autumn due to coronavirus as school closures crisis talks to be held today – The Sun
SCHOOL exams could be pushed back to the autumn because of the COVID-19 outbreak, it has been reported.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is expected to discuss the scheduling of GCSE and A-level tests with school bosses in a “private, informal” meeting later today.
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One option is delaying exams until September after students return from summer holidays, The Telegraph reports.
Number 10 refused to rule out tests being pushed back because of the coronavirus which has killed 35 people in the UK and infected 1,372.
Williamson’s meeting today was confirmed by a source at the Department for Education, the report says.
However, they were unable to confirm whether new guidance would be issued afterwards.
EXAMS 'PUSHED BACK'
The Education Secretary is under increasing pressure over his handling of the crisis after UK schools remained open despite their French, Italian and Irish counterparts shutting.
Teaching unions have demanded to know "why schools aren't closing if mass gatherings are to be suspended", the Daily Mail reports.
More than 350,000 people have signed a petition urging Mr Johnson to send kids home as the virus continues to spread.
SCHOOLS STAYING OPEN
Boris Johnson said a classroom shutdown would do “more harm than good” amid fears doctors and nurses would have to stay home and provide childcare adding more strain to the understaffed NHS.
Speaking at a press conference, the PM said: "At all stages we have been guided by the science and we will do the right things at the right time.
"We are not closing schools now, the scientific advice is that this could do more harm than good at this time.
"Of course we are keeping this under review and this may change as the disease spreads.
"Schools should only close if they are specifically advised to do so."
Meanwhile, it has emerged that Scotland's 700,000 school pupils could be sent home for more than four months in a drastic bid to slow the spread of coronavirus.
An SNP minister was quoted by The Sunday Times as saying the emergency shutdown of primaries and secondaries – starting in less than three weeks' time – was "a logical step to delay the virus" amid soaring cases.
The reported plan would mean 2,476 schools across Scotland shut from for 19 weeks from early April – the start of the Easter holidays – until mid-August, when the summer holidays end.
The plan, said to have been drawn up by civil servants, has not been confirmed by the Scottish Government.
However, Larry Flanagan, general secretary of teaching union EIS, said: "The spring break is only a couple of weeks away.
"There is a hope to get to the spring break without blanket school closures and then, if incidents of the virus have increased, it may be necessary to close all schools."