Education Secretary needs to give 'clarity' over postponing exams

1 September 2020, 20:37

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Gavin Williamson's apology to students has been branded "disappointing" by his Labour equivalent as she called for clarity for teachers and pupils over exams.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson's apology to school pupils who had their grades unfairly downgraded across England has been branded disappointing by a Labour MP.

Emma Hardy the Shadow Education Secretary told LBC that Mr Williamson's speech to the House of Commons didn't contain "anything new".

She also urged the Minister to provide clarity to teachers over exams.

Mr Williamson earlier confirmed ministers are looking at pushing A-Levels and GCSEs back to allow pupils more time to catch-up, after classes were cancelled because of coronavirus.

Mrs Hardy told LBC that teachers needed clarity as they have to provide a long term plan of the curriculum.

"Really, they need to know now," the Labour MP said, adding it would help teachers plan when "they can fit that learning in."

She said it was "quite disappointing" Mr Williamson had not given a definite answer.

LBC presenter Iain Dale asked if it was likely England would follow Scotland and Wales in pushing exams back, suggesting it seemed "inevitable".

"I don't know why it is that England always seems to be tail-end charlie," Iain said adding that decisions always seem to follow ones made by the devolved Governments.

The Labour MP said it "does look like he's going to say that, so I wish he'd just say it."

Gavin Williamson said the Government is determined that exams and assessments will go ahead in 2021.

He told MPs: "We are determined that exams and assessments will go ahead next year, and we're working with the sector to ensure that this is done as smoothly as possible.

"While none of this disruption is what we wanted for our students, I believe that they now have a certainty and reassurance they deserve and will be able to embark on the next exciting phase of their lives."