Educational settings and exams

School closures

On the 19th of March, Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education announced that from the end of Friday, the 20th schools will be closed.

  • If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
  • If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
  • Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
  • Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
  • Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.

Full details around the closure of schools and other educational settings can be read here, this page contains the following information:

    What jobs are regarded as critical workers (key workers)?

    In order to continue to offer critical services as part of the country’s ongoing response to the virus, children of workers who form a central part of effort - such as NHS workers, police and delivery drivers - will be able to continue to attend school, college or childcare provider.

    Critical workers include NHS staff, police, farmers and food retail workers, who need to be able to go out to work - the full list of those included is here.

    If you are unsure, then please contact Sutton Council or your child's school.

    Limiting social interaction

    We're all in this together and whilst this will be a big change and a big challenge for many of our local families and the Secretary of State, has not taken this decision lightly but it has become clear that we must limit social interaction even more than we have been - to save lives by ensuring our NHS continues to have the capacity to treat the most unwell.

    Exam results 2020 - framework and process

    As a result of school closure's, this year’s summer exam series, including A levels, GCSEs and other qualifications, and all primary assessments, have been cancelled.

    Details of the Government's approach can be found here or via the individual links listed below:

    Questions and answers

    1. Did exams need to be cancelled?

    2. What will happen to those who have already done some non-exam assessment?

    3. How will you address the fact that students from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to have their grades under-predicted?

    4. Will all students get their predicted grade?

    5. Will schools be using mock exam results as a barometer for results – and is this fair on students as they did not know at the time these would be used as their final mark?

    6. Will the past performance of the school be taken into account when devising the calculated grade?

    7. Is this an entirely new system?

    8. How will schools/colleges cope with the burden of putting on an atypical exam season?

    9. Will universities/colleges/sixth forms accept these calculated grades?

    10. What if I am unhappy with my grade?

    11. Will there be an opportunity to take exams this year if a student is unhappy with their grade?

    12. What about private candidates or home educated students?

    13. Can private centres run GCSEs/A levels if they chose to do so?

    14. Does this mean every exam in every module in every subject being cancelled, or will a limited number go ahead at GCSE and/or A level?

    15. What about vocational and technical qualifications?

    16. Will parents be required to educate their children while they are off school?

    17. What if have started my coursework but it is not finished?

    18. What will young people with university offers do?

    19. Do universities need to start making unconditional offers / should I accept an unconditional offer now that exams are cancelled?

    20. If I already have an unconditional offer, does that remain?

    21. If I take the exam option, will I still be able to go to university this year?

    22. Are iGCSEs and the International Baccalaureate also cancelled?

    23. How will colleges, sixth-forms, universities cope with the fact that these students will have missed out on some of their education?

    24. Might the exams be reinstated if the coronavirus (COVID-19) is not as bad as expected?

    REMEMBER: If you have a question, concern or need help with anything related to the Coronavirus, then please do email me at or call 020 7219 5862 - my team and I are working flat out to make sure everyone gets access to the help and advice they need.