Lockdown education and exams announcement
January 6, 2021
“I welcome the Education Secretary’s clarification today that GCSE and A-level grades will be awarded this summer via teacher assessment in place of cancelled exams. This gives certainty to pupils, parents, and teachers, and should avoid any repeat of last summer’s attempt to impose grades via algorithm, with schools instead trusted this year to fairly assess and support their students at this very challenging time.
Having criticised the government over the algorithm mistake, I will be watching carefully to ensure York’s children receive teacher-assessed grades as outlined, and am ready to take up any concerns parents and pupils wish to raise with me.
Given the terrible impact of school closures on the development of young people, especially those from less advantaged backgrounds, I am reassured by the mandatory duty on schools to provide 3-5 hours of quality remote education per day, to make sure our children do not fall irretrievably behind.
I am very much aware of the big challenge of expecting parents to immediately facilitate remote learning, given the computer technology required, and have previously raised the need to ensure there is adequate laptop provision for disadvantaged students in the House of Commons. I therefore welcome the ongoing massive rollout of over 1 million laptops and tablets to pupils, with more than 560,000 already delivered, and will remain on hand to ensure York households have the resources to ensure education continues during lockdown.
I want to see all pupils back in school as soon as physically possible, and will look to guide government policy on testing and vaccination to this end.”