Exams; how lockdown has been the making of students – The Yorkshire Post says

Boris Johnson during a school visit earlier this week.Boris Johnson during a school visit earlier this week.
Boris Johnson during a school visit earlier this week.
THE critical reaction to the Government’s decision to entrust teachers with the grading of GCSE and A-level exams this summer actually does a disservice to the most important people of all – the cohort of students whose futures will depend on the outcome.

They may not have spent much time in class in the past year learning the three Rs that remain the bedrock of a sound education, but the very worst of times has brought out the best in all those young people who have shown resilience, responsibility and resolution.

How must these students, and their families, feel when they listed to politicians and other self-appointed experts pontificate about the risk of ‘grade inflation’ when their approach to Covid, and its challenges, has instilled in them a degree of maturity that will serve them, and the country, well in the future?

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Far from writing off the so-called Covid generation because their education has been so disrupted through no fault of their own, the country should be mindful that many youngsters will emerge with wider societal skills and attributes that cannot be easily defined by an exam mark.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.

But the fact that there’s such a hostile debate about the awarding of this year’s exams, so soon after the equally foreseeable debacle of last summer, reflects very poorly on the leadership of Gavin Williamson, the Education Secretary, and Boris Johnson for accepting second best from the DfE.

And rather than abdicating responsibility and leaving it to a shattered teaching profession to mark exams fairly, and then give up their time to run the summer schools now being set up, Mr Williamson should be working with heads and LEAs to provide them with the resources – and support – that they will need to help those pupils who, for whatever reason, have gaps in their learning which do need to be addressed. That’s the new challenge. What it does not mean, however, is demonising a generation.

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