Free School Meals: Summer Holidays

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:56 pm on 16th June 2020.

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Photo of Rebecca Long-Bailey Rebecca Long-Bailey Shadow Secretary of State for Education 3:56 pm, 16th June 2020

My hon. Friend makes an important point. This is about assuring parents, teachers, school staff, pupils and wider communities about safety, and ensuring that we get children back into school in a very safe way. To do that, we have to have a consensus, which is why I have repeatedly called for the creation of a taskforce to bring together all those in the education sector to come up with the safety principles that need to be put in place in schools to ensure their safe reopening, and to produce a national plan for education so that pupils receive the emotional and academic support that they deserve.

Let me turn to additional support measures. I would like the Secretary of State to look at future GCSEs and A-levels, and to have discussions with Ofqual about changes to account for the work that has been lost during this period in order to provide a fair assessment of young people’s attainment. We also need provisions in the event that there is a second spike resulting in pupils being sent back home and being unable to take exams in the usual way.