GCSEs and A-levels: Concern for student motivation as teens who think they’ve passed seek jobs in supermarkets and ‘gig economy’ – inews

Posted: April 11, 2020 at 6:43 pm


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NewsEducation The revelation will reinforce fears that the fallout from the coronavirus crisis has badly hit engagement in learning

Wednesday, 8th April 2020, 11:25 am

Updated Wednesday, 8th April 2020, 2:51 pm

Teenagers who think they have already passed their GCSEs and A-levels have been trying to get supermarket and gig economy jobs before the school year ends.

The revelation will reinforce fears that the fallout from the coronavirus crisis has badly hit students motivation and engagement in learning.

In England, the exam watchdog Ofqual has said teachers will assess classwork, homework, results in assignments and mock exams, coursework and students "general progress to make predictions.

Crucially, Ofqual made clear that schools will not have to set any additional mock exams or homework to decide grades.

However, one boss of a major school chain said pupils who are no longer taking exams had disengaged from their education.

Martyn Oliver, chief executive of Outwood Grange Academies Trust - which runs 32 schools in the North of England - told Schools Week that participation in online learning among students in Year 11 and 13 was very poor.

The Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has said teachers will give students predicted GCSE and A level grades, which will be checked by the exam boards (Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

Average engagement in Outwood Granges online lessons during lockdown has been 70 per cent in the chains primary schools and 77 per cent for its secondary schools, but Mr Oliver said the latter figure had been dragged down by Years 11 and 13.

He said: As far as theyre concerned, theyve passed. Some of them are even trying to get into the gig economy, get work in supermarkets. We dont want them doing that.

Mr Oliver said the schools had refused permission to these students. We understand the pressure on them, but unless anyone defines it differently, they havent left school and they should be engaged with education.

The law states that children aged 15 or 16 can work up to 12 hours in any school week, and up to 35 hours a week in the holidays. There are no such school term based restrictions for 17 and 18 year olds.

There are fears the impact of the cancellation of exams on student motivation could widen attainment gaps between children from privileged and deprived backgrounds.

In a report, the Sutton Trust social mobility charity said that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds should get catch-up classes once schools reopen.

Even if all possible steps were taken to minimise the impact of school closures on the attainment gap, having students away from school for a long period is likely to have a substantial impact on attainment, especially for those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds, the report says.

Looking in the longer term, it will be important to put in place interventions to help students to catch up when schools restart. This could for example include increasing the pupil premium [funding] to help schools provide additional support for disadvantaged students when they return to school, or catch up sessions for this group of students before other students return.

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GCSEs and A-levels: Concern for student motivation as teens who think they've passed seek jobs in supermarkets and 'gig economy' - inews

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April 11th, 2020 at 6:43 pm

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