EDUCATION chiefs have promised GCSE pupils they will be able to study all their subjects next year, despite the interruption to their studies because of coronavirus.

But they also said the teaching of some courses may need to be done ‘in a slightly different way’, depending on future government guidance for teachers about Covid-19 safety measures.

The issue was raised with bosses at Durham County Council amid concerns over how some youngsters may be forced to adapt when classrooms reopen after the summer holidays, as the Government published its safety plans for England's return to school in September based on the principle of keeping classes or year groups in separate 'bubbles'.

Councillor Rob Crute said: “We know year six [and year ten are] important years for transition.

“What have we done to aid that transition from primary school to secondary school, given they don’t have the physical contact that previous years would usually have had?

“And in relation to year 11, how far and well equipped are schools to advise current year tens going into year 11 next year what the offer is going to be and what they will be able to do leading up towards their GCSEs?”

Cllr Crute was speaking at Thursday morning's meeting of the council’s Children and Young People’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee, which was held by videolink and broadcast via YouTube.

Richard Crane, the county council’s head of education and skills, assured Cllr Crute schools had been ‘very creative’ in preparing youngsters for the move from primary to secondary school.

As well as virtual tours to familiarise them with the new settings, pupils’ current teachers have also been continuing with the meetings they would usually have to prepare their counterparts for the incoming year group.

But for teenagers in year ten who have already started GCSEs, he admitted continuing with planned teaching models may be more difficult.

He added: “In terms of year ten going into year 11, there’s been reports in national media of some of some schools not being able to offer the same breadth of subjects they usually would.

“But schools have got a commitment to continue to deliver the GCSE courses pupils have started in year ten.

“They have to be delivered in a slightly different way, but the commitment is there to continue to deliver them.”