Gavin WIlliamson Axed In Johnson Reschuffle Over Exam Fiasco Influenced By Pandemic Decisions

Gavin WIlliamson Axed In Johnson Reschuffle Over Exam Fiasco Influenced By Pandemic Decisions

By Gavin Mackintosh-

Gavin Williamson has been sacked as education Secretary, following Boris Johnson’s latest reschuffling

 Mr Williamson was tipped to be one of those facing the axe after long mounting  pressure for him to resign on several occasions, like last year’s exams fiasco.

A series of major U-turns  on  the questions of school closures during the height of the pandemic, and  the exam fiasco, all contributed to this final decision to show him the door.Williamson had threatened to launch legal action against schools that insisted on closing down due to a surge in infections just before last Christmas, only for the government to eventually decide for schools to close after teacher unions and school heads intensified their protests against him.

Online learning at home also added to the pressure faced by parents  learning and annoyance at the hokey-cokey of going in and out of school

The whole situation was worsened following the  chaos of last year’s exams, with multiple U-turns  after grade inflation saw grades sky rocket, sparking a debate as to how fair they were, and the pressure they would impose on schools.

The former Education Secretary defended the much higher grades  than usual dished out to students, arguing that students ‘deserve to be rewarded’ after a year of disruption as teachers decided marks for a second year following the cancellation of exams.

The Education Secretary said students ‘deserve to be rewarded’ after a year of disruption as teachers decided marks for a second year following the cancellation of exams, and said: ‘We do expect students to get better grades this year’.

The Education Secretary said students ‘deserve to be rewarded’ after a year of disruption as teachers decided marks for a second year following the cancellation of exams, and said: ‘We do expect students to get better grades this year’.

The total number of students accepted on to UK degree courses rose five per cent on the same point last year, with 435,430 taking up places so far. Robert Halfon, chairman of the education select committee, at the time defended the outcome of grade inflation, saying it was inevitable under the circumstances.

Mr. Williamson also expressed plans for the system to return to examinations in 2022, while telling reporters that there would be contingency plans in place accompanied by a consultation in that regard.

 

A Level protests

Summer protests over schools was unhelpful to Mr. WIlliamson’s post                                             Image: Getty Images
The resignation of education Tsar, Kevin Collins over a lack of funding for catch up plans was also unhelpful.

Mr.Collins said the landmark funding offer of £15bn in teachers, tutoring and an extended school day to help children catch up were watered down to £1.4bn  schools in England in an announcement by the Department for Education (DfE) , fell “far short” of what was needed. “It is too narrow, too small and will be delivered too slowly,” he said, at the time, adding that the average primary school will directly receive just £6,000 a year, equivalent to £22 per child.

In a Twitter post on Wednesday afternoon, Mr Williamson said it had “been a privilege to serve as education secretary since 2019” and that he was “particularly proud of the transformational reforms I’ve led in post-16 education”.

As a former Tory chief whip, Mr Williamson was credited with securing the vast support for Mr Johnson among Conservative MPs during the party’s 2019 leadership contest.

A replacement for Mr. Williamson’s post as Education Secretary is expected anytime soon. With the situation of the pandemic not fully over, it remains to be seen how Williamon’s replacement will handle any similar indecisiveness over exams or school closures or exams.

The Department Of Education was contacted for comment.

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