January 2021 Exams Update

Dear Parents and Carers,

On Monday evening, the government made a brief statement with regard to January exams. For Gateacre students, this affects those who were due to sit an external examination in Creative iMedia (Y11), Sport Science (Y11), IT (Y13), Business (Y12 and Y13) and PE (Y13).

On Monday, we were told that these exams would definitely go ahead as planned. On Tuesday evening, this decision was changed and schools were told that they could run these exams if they judged it “right to do so” but that they were not compulsory.


I am writing to inform you that we will not run these exams. This decision has been made with the following in mind:

  • We cannot guarantee student and staff safety. The Prime Minister has described schools as ‘vectors’ for the virus and therefore we are only making essential provision on site. These exams are clearly not essential, given that the government and examination boards are telling us that they are now optional and that no students will be disadvantaged by not taking them.
  • Many students have missed too much learning time for them to do their best and have not have had any face to face teaching for 4 weeks.


These qualifications will have to go through the same checks and balances that all other qualifications, normally examined in the summer, will go through. We do not yet have clarity as to what this process will be.

It may be that some of you disagree with this decision. I am sorry if this is the case but it is a decision that we need to make for all, not only for some. I have consulted with the relevant subject leaders and no-one believes that it is sensible to run these exams.

I would like to remind you about the importance of all students continuing to study hard in the weeks and months to come in order to secure a good grade and guarantee their next steps.


Yours sincerely,


Mr G Jones