Newham sixth form leaders urge government to make plans clear for 2022

Parents are furious over the delay to to the 11 Plus exam in Redbridge. Picture: PA/David Jones

Sixth form leaders in Newham have urged the government to make clear its plans for those due to sit A-level and GCSE exams next year. - Credit: PA

Sixth form leaders have urged the government to make plans clear for next year's exams.

The principals of Newham Collegiate Sixth Form Centre (NCS) and Newham Sixth Form College (NewVIc) called for more detail over how exams would look in 2022.

It follows a government decision to scrap GCSE and A-level exams this year in favour of teachers grading their students.

Mouhssin Ismail, principal of Newham Collegiate Sixth Form. Picture: Asian Media Group

Mouhssin Ismail is principal of Newham Collegiate Sixth Form. - Credit: Asian Media Group

Mouhssin Ismail from NCS said schools and colleges need information now about next year, including what course content Year 12 students must cover.

"There's scant information from the government about that," Mr Ismail said.

Mandeep Gill

Mandeep Gill is principal of NewVIc in Plaistow. - Credit: Mandeep Gill

Mandeep Gill, from NewVIc, admitted schools and colleges don't know what will happen in 2022, adding the government has been slow to make plans clear.

Mr Gill, advising Year 12 students, said: "Act like you're going to be sitting exams in 2022. Treat it as an opportunity that will help you get where you want to go next."

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The principals were speaking to young people in an online meeting which included Labour's shadow schools minister, Wes Streeting, and East Ham MP Stephen Timms on Tuesday, March 9.

Youngsters quizzed them on how reliable teacher assessments would be and the impact on job prospects.

On the reliability of assessments, Mr Ismail said: "The reality is the data on teacher assessment shows it can be erroneous or incorrect and usually disadvantages young people from the poorest boroughs. 

"But we will do everything we can to help young people get the grades they deserve."

Last summer, thousands of A-level students' results were downgraded from school estimates by a controversial algorithm before a government U-turn which allowed them to use teachers' predictions.

The Department for Education insists it has the fairest system for awarding grades, but exams remain the best form of assessment.

It has appointed Sir Kevan Collins to oversee a long-term recovery plan and announced £700million for summer schools and tutoring.

Details about next year's exams are to be announced.

Mr Gill and Mr Streeting agreed students nearing the end of their GCSE or A-level courses should "knuckle down" and give teachers the evidence they need to decide grades.