Examinations: A-level and GCSE - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 12:40 pm on 15th September 2020.

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Photo of Lord Baker of Dorking Lord Baker of Dorking Conservative 12:40 pm, 15th September 2020

Three independent research bodies have now reported that during lockdown a fifth of students had no access to a computer or had access for less than an hour—that is, 1.7 million students, and they are the disadvantaged. I fail to see how they can catch up on five months’ education in 12 months—it is utterly impossible. We should not count too much on tutoring, as most tutors have never taught disadvantaged children, which is quite a different business. So I very much support the contingency plan. The Minister must plan for the possibility of not having exams next year but, if the exams are to be held, they will have to have a substantially reduced content. That is the only way in which those 1.7 million students can be treated fairly next summer.