Covid-19: Educational Settings

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:22 pm on 6th January 2021.

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Photo of Gavin Williamson Gavin Williamson The Secretary of State for Education 1:22 pm, 6th January 2021

The reason we are rolling out and expanding our devices package is that we realise how important it is for all children, especially those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. In the previous situation where schools had to be closed, during the months of March, April and May, children who did not have access to digital devices were able to access education in school, and I can confirm that we are issuing the same standard and the same guidance today.[This section has been corrected on 20 January 2021, column 3MC — read correction]

On disadvantaged children and the centre-assessed grades and teacher assessment, we will do everything we can to ensure that children are not left behind due to either their background or the community in which they have grown up and are learning. I look forward to working with my right hon. Friend and his Committee and taking their advice on any additional actions that we need to undertake to ensure fairness. I will certainly take on board his ideas and thinking about bringing in volunteers and people who want to support education, and about ensuring that teacher assessment is fair and robust and that it maintains standards and, most importantly, fairness for the children who are taking those qualifications.