More than nine out of 10 parents are concerned about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their child’s readiness for exams, a charity survey has suggested.
A survey of 1,501 parents by charity Parentkind found 93 per cent were either quite concerned or very concerned about their child’s preparedness for exams such as GCSEs and A-Levels next year.
Some 59 per cent of parents in the survey have a child in Year 11, which is typically GCSE year, and another 20 per cent have a child in Year 13, where students take their A-levels or similar qualifications.
Less than six per cent of parents said assessment on a full curriculum for 2021 would be acceptable.
Many parents said it would be acceptable to have assessments based on a reduced curriculum (41 per cent), exams with a choice of questions and topics (43 per cent), or exams accompanied by externally moderated teacher assessments (40 per cent).
But when asked to choose one favourite option, teacher assessment without external moderation was the most popular choice, backed by 23 per cent of parents.
More than half of those surveyed (50.43 per cent) supported delaying 2021 exams for a month to allow for more teaching time.
It was announced last week that Scotland’s National 5 exams will be cancelled and Highers and Advanced Higher qualifications will be pushed back due to the pandemic.
However, 38 per cent of parents said they would oppose delaying exams.
Over four-fifths of parents (88.1 per cent) told the charity survey that the lack of clarity about arrangements for exams had negatively affected their child’s mental health or wellbeing.
Kerry-Jane Packman, Parentkind’s executive director of programmes, membership & charitable services, said: “Preparing for exams is a hugely important factor for success. Feeling as ready as possible on the day can make all the difference in determining the results that can influence the course of a young person’s career.
“Parents and students know this, and we are already hearing worrying levels of despondency and anxiety from affected families. Continuing uncertainty is causing them stress and concern.
“Parentkind calls on policymakers to give urgent clarity about exam arrangements for 2021 now to avoid repeating the mayhem of 2020.
“Parents don’t have the solutions to exam arrangements, but they are seeking answers and clear guidance from government, so that they know what to expect and are well-placed to give their child whatever support they need.
“Parents want to help their children, but the longer this period of limbo drags on, the less time will be available for vital exam preparation, which risks creating panic.”
Picture: Students sitting an exam. (monkeybusinessimages).