The announcement that GCSE and A-level students in England will be assessed by their teachers in the summer – rather than exams – makes several of the front pages.
The think tank, the Education Policy Institute, tells the Guardian that the credibility of this year’s results will be “seriously undermined” unless “robust mechanisms” are in place to prevent widespread grade inflation.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Sir Jon Coles – who sat on a committee advising the government on exams – has resigned, unhappy that children will be tested under different conditions across the country.
The Times also warns of an “avalanche of appeals” – because results day will be brought forward to early August, “giving teenagers a bigger window” to question their grades.
“Rishi’s Spring Booster” is how the Daily Mail describes the measures it expects the chancellor will set out in his Budget next week.
It says that Rishi Sunak has abandoned plans to increase fuel duty by 5p a litre – and will extend support to furloughed workers and prospective homebuyers who would have missed out if the current stamp duty holiday ended as planned in five weeks’ time.
The Sun says these measures will leave the Treasury with “thin jam” to spend elsewhere, and Mr Sunak will likely announce an accompanying package of “painful” corporation tax rises to help close the deficit, which will hit £400bn in April.
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The Daily Express reports that six former Conservative cabinet ministers are lobbying Mr Sunak not to increase taxes next Wednesday.
One of them – Andrea Leadsom – tells the paper that while it’s “vital” to get the public finances under control, any new financial burdens “could be the final straw” for struggling companies.
Another of the backbenchers, Sir Iain Duncan Smith, says he also wants to see a clear out of “regulations that stand in the way of businesses”.
“Summer will rock after all” declares the Metro on its front page, after the organisers of the Reading and Leeds music festivals confirmed they would go ahead in August.
The paper quotes one of the headliners, Liam Gallagher, who says he can’t wait to see “all the happy faces”.
But the i newspaper points out that music industry leaders believe the wider festival season remains in danger – despite the prime minister’s route out of lockdown – because there’s still “a large amount of uncertainty”.
And the cover of the Financial Times features Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi – who has renamed the world’s biggest cricket stadium… after himself.
The paper calls it a “rare move” by a living leader – and one which “overshadowed” the start of England’s third Test with India at the 110,000 seat arena in Ahmedabad yesterday.
The Independent website suggests the name change was so sudden, even the England team hadn’t been told – tweeting 90 minutes before the coin toss that players had arrived at the Sardar Patel Stadium.
“We need to put an end to this usurping by politicians”, one of Mr Modi’s critic says – “sports should celebrate their own superstars”.