The pandemic has undoubtedly made a big difference to the lives and educational experiences of year 11 and 13 students following courses leading to general and vocational qualifications in summer 2021 in England. These students are at a critical stage of their educational journey and the pandemic has, as we know, had a major impact on their learning. This has all happened during a year when they would normally have taken examinations and other types of assessment to determine their grades in qualifications, which can be vitally important to them in terms of their future progression.
This research study has been focused on understanding those experiences better. It has been based upon surveys, interviews and focus groups for year 11 and 13 students, their teachers and their parents or carers. It will be continuing through the autumn of 2021, to track experiences as these students encounter alternative ways of being assessed and graded over the next few months.