Exams and Accountability 2021

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:34 am on 3rd December 2020.

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Photo of Sarah Owen Sarah Owen Labour, Luton North 10:34 am, 3rd December 2020

I have heard from teachers, school leaders and young people across Luton North, all saying that we need alternatives to standard exams next year. Students from Luton sixth forms and the Luton youth council wrote to me with a comprehensive list of options last month, and I urge the Secretary of State to hear their concerns. The headteacher of the fantastic Lealands High School summed it up perfectly when he wrote to me sharing concerns not just for children’s future, but for their mental health:

“It has become apparent that the disparity in experience of Year 11 students across the country is vast and those who are suffering the most have not control over this... There are many ways to assess what young people know, understand and can do.”

Will the Secretary of State listen to teachers, parents and students and avoid any unnecessary unfairness of exams, or does he just think he knows better?