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Listen to teachers over next year’s exams – MP tells Education Secretary

September 11, 2020 4:03 PM

DCMS questionsOn the floor of the House of Commons this week, South Lakes MP Tim Farron urged ministers to listen to teachers to avoid a repeat of this year's exam results fiasco.

Speaking during a debate in Parliament, Tim said: "As a dad of two kids, who went through GCSEs and A-levels this year, I understand massively the disruption that was caused to families and especially to the young people looking to their futures.

"Looking to the future, the Secretary of State should show humility, listen to the teaching profession and learn, and he should understand that all-or-nothing exams next spring are a huge risk to our young people, particularly given the crisis we might be in then.

"Is it not better to assess along the way, as many teachers are telling us would be far wiser?

Responding, the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: "Looking to 2021, my Department is working closely with Ofqual, the exam boards and groups representing teachers, schools and colleges to consider the best approach for exams and other assessments for next year."

Speaking afterwards, Tim said: "A large part of why this summer's exam results were such a shambles was that ministers simply ignored teachers who were warning them months in advance that this wouldn't end well.

"Putting all our eggs into a single end-of-year exam basket again is far too risky and the Government must work with teachers to find a better solution."