Updated: Jun 26, 2020
What a year 2020 has been so far. A worldwide pandemic that leads to just about the whole world being on lockdown, oil market crash that resulted in oil prices turning negative for the first time in history. Unemployment on the rise, mass looting, and riots in the USA; on the verge of another civil war. Some are expecting an alien invasion this year. However, all humor aside as this year has been the most spontaneous year in the history of humankind and the consequences of these events is yet to be felt by the public as financial experts at Bloomberg have speculated that the COVID19-2020 stock market crash will have more significant repercussions than the infamous 2008 wall street crash. No entity is immune to the detrimental impact of COVID19, and the lockdown, clinging onto an ever-tearing invisible rope, is the education system in this country.
Schools across the UK have been closed for nearly 90 days now. A-level, AS-levels, and GCSE exams canceled, affecting nearly 1.5 million pupils in the country. The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) has provided schools with a new grading system. The students will be graded by the opinion of their teacher's belief "what the student would have most likely achieved if they had sat their exams." A system that is not so different from what was already in place for predicting students' grades for their university admission A-level grades. We all know how dissatisfied many university admission educators are with that system in place, with reforms planned to be put in place for post-qualification admissions.
A recent study by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) based on data from a survey of 1,233 senior leaders and 2512 teachers across both primary and secondary schools shows the state of the education system in the country.
Schools have been closed in the busiest times of the year. Students usually begin to enter the "exam zone" and increase their hours of home-study to prepare for exams. Not only has the school hours of learning been stripped away from pupils as studies show that they are doing much less work than they would typically at this time of year. The top percentile students no longer are putting in the extra hours outside school hours to achieve the A-stars; well, why should they if they have been given "predicted grades," right?. Wrong, this lockdown will impact everyone, including the top percentile, as they will be less prepared for the knowledge leap into university degrees as compared to the previous generations.
It seems that all generations of the education sector will be impacted detrimentally. However, the two generations shunted the worst will be the current Year 12 and Year 10. This generation of pupils have already lost three months of knowledge, and they are planned to sit their A-level and GCSE exams in the year 2021. Only time will show the impact of these pupils results through this country's average grades in comparison to the previous years. The year 10 & 12 generations of pupils will be scarred for life if a solution is not provided for the less time they have spent in education compared to the rest of the population.
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