Having been contacted by young people, their parents and teachers about this important issue, today I used the opportunity of being first in the PMQ ballot to ask a question seeking certainty for the examination situation in the months ahead.
“One of the groups hit hardest by the pandemic is young people in full time education especially those facing exams last year and this, with all of the mental health challenges that come with current uncertainty.
“Does my RHF agree that those for whom exams have been scrapped this year would now benefit from the utmost clarity about how exactly they will be assessed; a clear plan, announced early, without last minute changes, to help teachers and students prepare for an even more challenging experience.”
The Prime Minister responded with the following commitment:
“We will do everything we can to ensure exams are fair, the ways of testing are set out in a timely way, and the Department of Education is launching a consultation with Ofqual to ensure we get the right arrangements for this year.”
Providing clarity on how young people facing GCSCs, A-Levels and vocational examinations between now and the summer will be assessed is vital. It enables them to plan for their future, manage their expectations and alongside this, their mental health during an already stressful global pandemic.
To have the first Question to the Prime Minister of 2021 was the perfect opportunity to raise this issue on behalf of young people across Plymouth and the South Hams, as well as across the country as a whole.