Ofqual announced that students will be able to sit GCSEs, A Levels and some AS levels in Autumn. Tutors International founder, Adam Caller, issues comment.
OXFORD, UK: On the 4th May 2021, Ofqual announced that students being issued a teacher-assessed grade, or those who have had their summer exams cancelled, would be able to sit the exam for that subject in Autumn. This decision has received heavy criticism from teachers, who anticipate that preparing for autumn exams will mean a greater workload for them.
“I think it’s important to acknowledge that typically teachers get more time off than any other public sector professionals in the UK. They get a lot of holidays every year – more than the likes of doctors and firefighters. They may have to do afterschool marking but teachers still get their weekends and holidays. Of course, this last year has been slightly different because we have had a pandemic. It has meant that those teacher privileges have been minimised and teachers have had to work very hard to teach in new ways to help students catch up. But look at nurses and doctors; it is what everyone has had to do in their job – step up.
“The pandemic was a crisis that no one asked for. We just have to deal with it. When everyone plays their part, putting in that bit of extra work whilst it's happening, the sooner we'll see a return to normality. Everyone who can step up should step up, and that includes teachers. It might sound controversial, but I think they just have to deal with a disproportionate workload for a short while. Nurses and food distribution networks are also under immense pressure. I'm saying this fully prepared for some backlash from the teaching profession, but I believe the children are the priority here, and that teachers should consider that normally they’re in rather a comfortable position.”
Teaching Through Summer for Autumn Exams
The idea that the summer holiday is inviolable is a fallacy. Not only is it customary around the world to offer summer programmes for students, but for this summer in particular, extra support will need to be offered across all school ages. Schools are being encouraged to bid for a share of £200 million in government funding to design summer schools for students who have experienced the most disruption, with incoming Year 7 students being the focus (Education Journal, No. 449, May 2021, p. 10). Mr Caller also acknowledges that the phenomenon of teachers working through summer is not a great anomaly. Tutors International is very familiar with first-class teachers applying for tutoring jobs over the summer. Mr Caller explains:
“I understand that the summer holidays would usually be time off, but they don’t have to be. At Tutors International, we regularly have teachers work throughout the summer on short-term placements. Private education services have always operated right through summer. If teachers and tutors have to work through summer to help students prepare for autumn exams, then this is not an entirely new notion.”
Mr Caller encourages teachers to adopt a shift in outlook:
“The challenges with teaching from home have felt heightened because they’re unfamiliar, and working in isolation must have been difficult. Saying that, as this last year has proved, we can adapt and innovate more than we knew. It might be unfamiliar territory, but it is important to consider aspects that have been better for teachers too. There’s no commute. There’s no classroom set up or tidy up. They don't have to deal with the in-person management of thirty teenagers or children. I’m not saying that because it’s different it is easier, but I think teachers have different stresses as opposed to more stresses.
“In light of the autumn exam news, ultimately, if it needs doing, it needs doing. The children and their futures are the priorities in this. That just means teachers might have to push through in the short term. As Alfred Lord Tennyson said, 'theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die'. This kind of committed perseverance in the short-term will see us all out of this soon.”
Private Tuition for Exams
Now that children and young adults may be studying through the holidays, private tuition could be the key to bridging the gap between the end of the summer term and the autumn exams. Private tutors and school teachers should work together.
Tutors International’s elite tailored private tuition incurs fees suited to a high net-worth clientele, but there are homeschooling and private tutoring solutions at all price points. The benefits of tutoring are unmatched, giving students one-to-one help where they need it the most. That said, it does not have to be one-to-one tuition – it can be private tuition for a small group. Adam Caller offers a solution to those concerned about the expenses associated with private tuition for exam preparations:
“If a group of parents were seeking a private tutor, but didn’t have the means to pay for one-to-one private tuition, a tutor could be hired to help a small group of children in one session. We are seeing the emerging popularity of the micro school. This means the cost of one tutor’s hourly rate can be split between multiple parents and reduce the cost per family to little more than the price of a pint.”
If you are looking to support a student through elite, world-class private tuition for exam preparations, you should make an enquiry with Tutors International now. Their in-depth global recruitment process takes time, and any families considering private tuition over the summer should get in touch as soon as possible.
About Tutors International
Tutors International provides an unparalleled tutoring service that matches the right private home tutor with the right child, in order for the student to fully reach their personal potential and academic excellence. Providing an international private tuition service for children of all ages at different points in their educational journeys, Tutors International is founded on a commitment to finding the perfect tutor to realise the specific goals and aspirations of each student. Tutors are available for residential full-time positions, after-school assistance, tuition for exams and homeschooling.
Founded in 1999 by Adam Caller, Tutors International is a private company based in Oxford, a city renowned for academic excellence. Our select clientele receives a personally tailored service, with discretion and confidentiality guaranteed.
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