Secondary Education: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 28th September 2020.

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Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Shadow Minister (International Trade)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many secondary schools have dropped the teaching of one or more GCSE subjects in response to the situation caused by the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

The majority of Key Stage 4 pupils are expected to continue to study all of their examination subjects. This is more likely to secure their preferred route to further study. Schools and academy trusts should not have a blanket policy of reducing the number of GCSEs being studied.

In exceptional circumstances, it may be in the best interest of a Year 11 pupil to discontinue an examined subject because the school judges that, for example, they would achieve significantly better in their remaining subjects as a result, especially in GCSE English and mathematics. School leaders are expected to make such decisions in discussion with pupils and parents, using the existing discretion that schools already apply on these matters.

During the autumn term, Ofsted inspectors will visit a sample of schools to have collaborative discussions with them, taking into account the curriculum expectation on the breadth of GCSE study.

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