Why Gavin Williamson must resign or be sacked – The Yorkshire Post says

THERE’S just one expectation of Gavin Williamson when he briefs Parliament on the Covid crisis in schools – his resignation.

Anything less will be another betrayal of a generation of children, and teachers, let down by the most incompetent, ineffectual and inept Education Secretary in living memory.

He might have been born in Yorkshire – but Mr Williamson had no obvious qualifications for this crucial Cabinet role when appointed in July 2019. And so it has proven. He’d already shown a reluctance to engage in the Northern Powerhouse and levelling-up agendas to raise school standards – political insiders maintain he has been resistant to overtures to reform his department – before Covid intervened.

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And, since then, his decision-making has been haphazard at best – and non-existent at all other times – on issues from the debacle over the grading of last summer’s exams to the supply of laptops for deprived students to help with home learning.

Gavin Williamson is the Education Secretary.Gavin Williamson is the Education Secretary.
Gavin Williamson is the Education Secretary.

Now he’s bowed to the inevitable and cancelled this summer’s exams – again without offering clarity on his alternative plan – when such a scenario was plain last September and pointed out to him by this newspaper and others.

And, to compound matters, the totally shambolic start to this term when some schools were told to open for a day before closing amid lockdown chaos.

Matters that the Minister could – and should – have addressed before Christmas to enable parents to prepare children for the challenges of 2021 and make childcare contingencies, such mismanagement would not be tolerated in the private sector.

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Yet why should teachers, families and children pay the price for the PM’s indulgence of this clueless Minister – the ‘Chris Grayling’ of the current Cabinet – when schools policy is, in fact, so key to Britain’s future?

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson presided over the chaotic reopening of schools - for just one day.Education Secretary Gavin Williamson presided over the chaotic reopening of schools - for just one day.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson presided over the chaotic reopening of schools - for just one day.

If Mr Williamson doesn’t take the only honourable course of action open to him now his position is so untenable, then Boris Johnson must sack him –  and appoint a gifted Education Secretary who can manage, lead and inspire schools.

One of the most important Cabinet jobs of all, this would also afford a new Minister the chance to use this hiatus to address the safety of schools, vaccination of teachers and testing of students – challenges all way beyond Mr Williamson’s very limited capabilities.

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