Michael Fabricant questioned the Schools Minister today (23rd November) regarding GCSE and A Level exams next year. He says “There are large differences in access to IT equipment between different schools and children studying at home up and down the country and especially in the West Midlands. Is it fair that students from wealthy backgrounds and access to laptops and tablets should have an advantage over those studying from home without? Examining boards should take these differences into account next summer.”
In the House of Commons, Michael asked: “Despite the excellent news regarding vaccines this morning, and Britain have the largest vaccine portfolio in the world, and despite the millions being invested into getting schools to be on the same level and equal playing field for all students regarding virtual teaching, it’s estimated that right now some 80% of schools are disadvantaged as far as training their students who are isolated at home.
“So can the Schools Minister please tell me what discussions he is having with the examining boards? Is he going to make sure that the examining boards take all this into account when they’re allocating grades next year?”
Schools Minister Nick Gibb replied: “My Honourable Friend will know that 99% of schools are open, that overall attendances are at 83% in secondary school, and we are working with the exam boards, and with Ofqual, on the issue of grading, and we’ll have more to say on that shortly.
“We are also working with the exam boards and Ofqual to make sure that the experience students have next summer is as fair as possible given all that they have experienced over the last year.”