2 September 2020 – today’s press release

Education Secretary must come clean about what he knew, and when

Speaking after the Chair of Ofqual told MPs today that it was a “fundamental mistake” to believe a controversial algorithm initially used for A-level and GCSE results would “ever be acceptable to the public”, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Daisy Cooper said:

The A level scandal caused untold distress and anguish for too many young people.

It is now clear as day that the Education Secretary stubbornly refused to heed warnings about this approach and that the decisions which led to this fiasco were firmly in his hands.

Pupils and parents need to have confidence that children and young people can return to full time education and stay there. Instead, this Government just keeps lurching from one crisis to the next.

After shamelessly hanging officials out to dry, the Education Secretary must come clean about what he knew, and when.

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5 Comments

  • richard underhill. 3rd Sep '20 - 7:55am

    The resignation we need is from the PM.
    He needs the confidence of the entire House of Commons, which he conspicuously lacks.
    He might recognise the language of a call for “an abler man”.
    In saying this I am not naming an abler man or woman, such a person would need the experience of Ken Clark and the ambition of Michael Heseltine, combined in one person.

  • richard underhill. 3rd Sep '20 - 8:06am

    US Presidents such as FDR have often provided us with ideas and help with resources.
    Moral leadership needs the US election to be ‘free and fair’.
    Shall we send international observers to the USA?
    A 30 minute speech from the Health Secretary might be amusing.

  • Not just Gavin Williamson but Boris Johnson…Yesterday, at PMQ’s. , Keir Starmer pinned Johnson like an insect to a card over the exam fiasco….. Johnson’s flailing bluster, for the first time I can remember, caused the speaker to intervene…
    Many Tories must now be wondering why on earth they elected the cruise ship’s comic to be captain…

  • Whilst we do need to hold people to account for past mistakes, we should also be doing whatever is necessary to avoid a repeat in 2021. We need to ensure that students get:
    1. The additional tuition needed to make up the loss of school time to date.
    2. Continguencies are in place so that when schools have to close for local lockdowns, students can seamlessly continue with their studies.
    3. Processes are in place to moderate teacher assessments, perhaps what is necessary is some standardisation of continuous assessment and mock exams and cross marking of papers and homework between schools, so that greater confidence can be placed on the use “teacher predicted grades”. Note these processes need to take account of disruptions arising due to local lockdowns.
    4.Processes are in place to ensure that students can sit the summer 2021 exams (or some form of online replacement) regardless of the status of CoViD-19 lockdowns that may be in force at this time.

    LibDems need to start looking forward and not constantly be picking over yesterdays battlefields.

  • Philip Moss 4th Sep '20 - 12:38pm

    How do we help the child in our poorest families?
    No Wi-Fi, no computer, no space to study. I studied in an alcove,part of the sitting room, no spare space in bedrooms,all in the sitting room, 2 parents,7 siblings, all good fun !!
    I still remember Dick Barton, on the radio of course !!. That said I had Lady Luck riding
    not just on one shoulder but on both, at the same time !! I could see my grammar school from the window. I am certainly not complaining. That said it was all pen and pencil work in those days. Do we know if wifi has been provided for any families?
    We need to make sure that the pupils without a computer/wifi are catered for in school
    otherwise how can we be sure that they have preference at all times with the computer at home This means having more staff in schools, I am aware of concerns about that, and I worry over my daughter having to to be there, I realise that I speak from a privileged position, retired some 20 years ago.

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