A BASINGSTOKE headteacher has backed the government's decisions to hold GCSEs in 2021.

The Department for Education’s decision has had a mixed response so far with many people arguing that England should follow Wales and Scotland in cancelling the 2021 exams, while some want the tests to go on.

Brighton Hill Community School headteacher Christopher Edwards backed the government’s decision as he said the children are desperate to take the exams.

“Vast majority of the students are looking forward to appear for the exams,” Mr Edwards said.

“They have been preparing for this for 11 years. They would be devastated if they are not allowed to sit for the exams. And, there are no better alternatives at this stage.”

Despite deciding to provide generous grades to students, the government has received criticisms for not following Wales and Scotland in cancelling the exams.

The Department for Education has said the exams would ensure level playing field for students across the country. The students are expected to get generous grading, advance notice of topics and back-up papers if they miss their exams because of coronavirus infection.

Mr Edwards felt Scotland and Wales might have rushed to the decision to cancel the exams.

“They took the decisions rather early. They should have investigated other options, because I’m sure the students must have been eager to sit for the exams.”

Mr Edwards also shared his sentiments for students in the North and the Midlands, where classes have been disrupted due to coronavirus outbreak, but said the exams would ensure level playing field.

“Students in the North and the Midlands have missed 6-7 weeks of classes. In comparison our Class 11 students did not miss any class. But, the amendments to the exams would hopefully ensure equal opportunities for all students,” he said.

GCSE and A-level exams were cancelled in England in 2020 due to coronavirus. The grades were awarded based on teachers’ assessments, however the process received severe criticism after many students saw their marks being downgraded