THIS summer’s GCSE and A-level exams in England have been cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government has confirmed.

Exams regulator Ofqual and the Department for Education (DfE) will work together to consider how to grade pupils in a way that reflects their hard work, the department said.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is due to outline to MPs later today a package of support for young people following the closure of schools and college to all but vulnerable children and those of key workers.

Ahead of the statement in the Commons, the DfE said it recognises this is “an anxious time for students who have been working hard towards their exams”.

It added: “The Government position is that we will not be asking students to sit GCSE and A-levels.

“Working alongside Ofqual, the department will consult on how to award all pupils a grade that reflects the hard work they’ve done and will continue to do.”

In a televised address on Monday announcing England’s third national lockdown, Boris Johnson acknowledged that shutting schools meant “it’s not possible or fair for all exams to go ahead this summer, as normal”.

In a statement, Mr Williamson said: “It is now vital that we support our young people at home, including making sure all students are receiving the best possible remote education, and that those students who were due to take exams can still progress to their next stage of education or training.”

Despite facing calls to cancel this month’s BTEC exams in light of the lockdown, the Government has left it to school and college leaders to decide whether they want to go ahead with the vocational exam series.

The decision came after ministers faced calls to cancel the January exams.

Meanwhile, Mr Johnson has declined to guarantee that all children in England will be back in classrooms before the summer holidays.

But the Prime Minister said he is full of “optimism and fundamental hope” that things will be different in the spring.

All pupils – except children of key workers and vulnerable pupils – have moved to remote education until February half-term amid tighter restrictions.

School leaders have said they are expecting a high turnout of children of key workers and vulnerable pupils onsite amid the national lockdown in England – with one school expecting hundreds to attend.

The Government guidance now says vulnerable children may include “pupils who may have difficulty engaging with remote education at home (for example due to a lack of devices or quiet space to study)”.

Some school leaders could see up to 70 per cent of their pupils in class, if all eligible children attend, prompting concerns about social distancing, staff shortages and the ability to balance remote education with in-person teaching.

The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) was also hearing from headteachers that more parents who were classed as critical workers were wanting to take up places during the new national lockdown.