Exams and Accountability 2021

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

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Jeff Smith Jeff Smith Opposition Whip (Commons) 10:34 am, 3rd December 2020

In Manchester, some year 11 pupils are now in their fifth period of isolation. Most have lost at least 10% of class time because of isolation and many of those pupils do not have decent digital access to enable home learning. The deputy head at my local high school told me this morning:

“The system he is putting in place will serve to widen the disadvantage gap. He repeats that exams are the fairest means of assessment and all the studies point to that;
however those studies were not undertaken in a global pandemic.”

May I plead with the Secretary of State to think again about what more he can do to help those pupils who have been disproportionately affected by isolation? That does not need to include keeping all examinations, because, on exams, making the playing field slightly smaller for everybody is not creating a level playing field for those disadvantaged pupils.