Labour Demands Gavin Williamson Publish All Correspondence Over Exams Fiasco

The government had “risked thousands of young people being robbed of their futures”, said shadow education secretary Kate Green.

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Labour has urged education secretary Gavin Williamson to publish all his correspondence about the use of a controversial grading algorithm after a week of chaos surrounding exam results.

The government had “risked thousands of young people being robbed of their futures” after an “endless pattern of incompetence”, said shadow education secretary Kate Green.

It comes after schools and colleges were told not to issue BTec results to students on Thursday following a last-minute U-turn on grading, following the announcement that GCSE and A-level students would this year be able to receive grades based on their teachers’ estimates.

Williamson has been accused of failing to take responsibility for the fiasco, and is facing calls to quit.

In a statement, Green said: “Gavin Williamson was warned again and again about the problems with the grading algorithm, and each time, he did nothing.

“This endless pattern of incompetence is no way to run a country. His failure to listen to warnings and to act on them risked thousands of young people being robbed of their futures.

“It is time for full transparency. The Department for Education must now publish all correspondence to and from the Secretary of State in which concerns about this algorithm were discussed, as a matter of urgency.

“Young people deserve to know how they came to be let down so badly.”

Earlier this week, Tory MP Robert Halfon also called to see the minutes of every conversation between the department for education and Ofqual. Halfon, the Conservative chair of the education select committee, said that body’s report in early July had warned there would be significant problems with the algorithm that could hurt the disadvantaged.

On Wednesday night – with less than 24 hours to go until results day – exam board Pearson asked schools and colleges not to publish level 1 and 2 results in the vocational qualifications to give them more time to recalculate the grades.

Schools minister Nick Gibb has admitted he cannot give a firm date for the release of the BTec results.

When asked when students could expect to receive their grades, he told the BBC: “Well as soon as possible, but I hope next week.

“Pearson are working to correct and to review those grades and to reissue them.

He added: “Having spoken to Pearson and all the exam boards yesterday, I believe that they will be delivered next week.”


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