Gavin Williamson vows school system will ‘deliver’ for young people after ‘disruption’

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The Education Secretary told BBC News the UK Government has a robust and fair system in place to assign English students’ grades this month. The Conservative MP added the best thing for every child will be the ability to return to school in September. 

Mr Williamson said: “I apologise to every single child right across the country for the disruption that they’ve had to suffer.

“The system, for the overwhelming majority of young people, is going to deliver, you know, credible, strong results for every single one of them.

“It’s a robust system, it’s a fair system, it’s making sure that young people get the grades that they’ve worked so hard towards.”

He added: “I’m not going to hesitate in terms of actually making changes if I can get the system as fair as possible for every single child.”

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The Education Secretary also stated: “What is key is giving young people the opportunity to move on to the next stage of their lives, making sure that they have the opportunity to go on to college, go to university, take an apprenticeship, go into the world of work.

“We’ve got a system that is, I believe, is the fairest that we can do; but let’s not forget that we’ve been in a global pandemic, we’ve been in this situation, none of us would have expected to be in.”

Mr Williamson reiterated all children will return to school next month.

He said: “The best thing that we can do is make sure that every child is back into school in September.

“Is there anything more that I can do in order to make that happen? Well, if there is, tell me about this, and I will go out there and I will do it.

“We need to see every child back into school – as someone who has a wife and a brother who works in schools, and someone who has children who have, you know, like every child, suffered as a result of not being, I know that the best thing to do is to get everyone back there.”

The Education Secretary’s announcement comes after the Scottish Government was heavily criticised for their handling of awarding exam results to Scottish students. 

The fierce backlash forced Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP into a u-turn, stating that students would not receive a lower grade than they achieved on their mock exams. 

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Nicola Sturgeon said during today’s FMQs regarding a possible inquiry into the handling of students exam results: “On the issue of university places, in any year the process of university admission goes on for a period of time.

“This year, we’re going to ensure that more places are available for young people and I think that is a good thing.

“That’s a positive thing that should be welcomed across the country.

“In terms of the responsibility of the SQA and the Government, we’ll make whatever Parliament wants available to Parliament.”

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