Schools and Colleges: Qualification Results and Full Opening - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:51 pm on 2nd September 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education 1:51 pm, 2nd September 2020

My Lords, on the cancellation of exams, I think we need to cast our minds back. At the time exams were due to start, no secondary school pupils had been back in the building and the confidence was not there among parents. I hate to think of the trauma we could have caused by children going straight from lockdown into an invigilated situation. It just was not possible, and the department was commended on a decisive decision at that moment that exams were cancelled. So, with the best will in the world, that was the right decision and we stand by it.

On communication with the four nations, only yesterday officials were in a four-nations meeting. There is regular dialogue at both ministerial and official level with the four nations. For instance, the direction letters sent by the Secretary of State to Ofqual were copied to each of his three counterparts in the nations. We are working closely. It is unfortunate for all young people that none of the four nations managed to deliver the standardisation that we had intended to deliver and believed was best for children.