Teacher strike threat

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Headteachers say GCSE and A-level exams will go ahead as normal this summer regardless of a strike threat by the two biggest teachers’ unions

The NUT and the NAS/UWT are taking industrial action over their workload, pay and pensions and a series of localised strikes is due to begin in the north-west on June 27.

Details and dates of industrial action in Lincolnshire have not been announced.

Spalding’s Sir John Gleed School head Janet Daniels said: “We are always disappointed if strike action is felt necessary by any members of staff, but it would not disrupt our exams because teaching staff do not administer our exams in any way and obviously we would be able to continue with our exam season.

“There’s no definite details yet of what may happen.”

Spalding Grammar School head Nigel Ryan says he “totally respects the right of staff to take industrial action”, but cannot see how it will change the mind of Education Secretary Michael Gove or anyone in the Government.

Massive reforms are in the pipeline over the next two years for GCSEs and A-level examinations and the NUT believes launching the new exams at the same time will lead to an unmanageable level of change that could lead to a collapse of the system in schools teaching both levels.

Mr Ryan says: “I can’t see the system collapsing because our teachers and staff will make sure that we do what we need to do to get the best outcome for the students, but there are big changes on the horizon.”

The focus is switching from modules and ongoing assessment to single exams at the end of two years – AS levels stay for the moment, but are likely to be axed. There will be fewer chances for pupils to do resits.

Mr Ryan said the grammar school boys are committed and hardworking and will manage the changes well.

l Pupils at the grammar school who were marked down in last year’s GCSE English exam board fiasco have retaken their exams to get the higher grades they needed.