Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has said that teachers' estimated grades will be used to replace cancelled GCSEs and A-levels in England this summer,

In a reference to the U-turn over last year's exams he said that he would put his trust in teachers rather than algorithms. He also confirmed that for primaries, there would be no Year 6 Sats tests this year.

He promised parents that it would be mandatory for schools to provide high-quality remote education of three to five hours per day and it would be enforced by Ofsted, with inspections where there were concerns about what was provided for children now studying at home.

In a statement to the House of Commons, Mr Williamson said there would be training and support for teachers in estimating grades, "to ensure these are awarded fairly and consistently." He also told MPs there would be no Sats tests for those at the end of primary school. "I can absolutely confirm that we won't be proceeding with Sats this year. We do recognise that this will be an additional burden on schools

Labour's Shadow Education Secretary, Kate Green, accused Mr Williamson of "chaos and confusion" - and said he had failed to listen to the "expertise of professionals on the front line". She said he had given a "cast-iron commitment" that exams would go ahead - and Ms Green said: "At that moment, we should have known they were doomed to be cancelled."

Geoff Barton, leader of the ASCL head teachers' union, said rather than a "vague statement" of how A-levels and GCSEs would be graded, ministers should already have a system ready in place - and it was a "dereliction of duty" that it was not already prepared. And he warned against repeating the "shambles" of last summer's cancelled exams.

The Education Secretary confirmed to MPs that GCSEs and A-levels are not going ahead - after this week's decision that it was no longer feasible with so much time lost in the Covid pandemic and the latest lockdown. The exams watchdog Ofqual will draw up proposals for an alternative way of deciding results, for qualifications that could be used for jobs, staying on in school or university places.

All GCSE, AS and A-level exams in Northern Ireland were cancelled due to the Covid-19 crisis whilst in Scotland its Nationals, Highers and Advanced Highers have already been cancelled. GCSEs and A-levels in Wales were scrapped in November.