2:02 pm, Thursday, 7th January 2021

Education Secretary outlines plans to support young people

Read the full article referenced below on the Gov.uk website, “Education Secretary outlines plans to support young people.”

Pupils to receive set number of hours of remote education each day and Ofsted to inspect where it has concerns.

Support for the continued education of young people has been outlined by the Education Secretary today, following the announcement that attendance at schools and colleges is now limited to all but vulnerable children and children of critical workers.

During the period of national lockdown strengthened remote education expectations will be put in place, with schools expected to provide a set number of hours of high-quality remote education for pupils, supported by further deliveries of laptops and tablets for the most disadvantaged.

With GCSEs and A Levels not going ahead as planned, the exams regulator Ofqual will launch a consultation – alongside the department – on the options for alternatives to the exams to ensure every young person gets a fair grade for their work, with the expectation that teacher assessment will be used.

Families entitled to free school meals will also be offered food parcels or vouchers, funded by the government.

The full package of measures set out by the Education Secretary in parliament today includes:

  • Strengthened minimum standards of remote learning: schools will be expected to offer pupils online lessons and a set number of hours of remote education for pupils – increased from the government’s previous minimum expectations. Ofsted will play an important role in holding schools to account for the quality of remote education.
  • Next steps on exam alternatives arrangements: students will not be asked to sit GCSE, AS and A level exams this summer. The Education Secretary expects Ofqual to consider a teacher assessed system as a replacement for GCSEs, AS and A levels. A consultation will be launched next week and conclude swiftly to give certainty to schools, colleges and students, while also giving them the opportunity to have their say.
  • Free school meals: extra funding will be provided to support schools to provide food parcels or meals to eligible students. The national voucher scheme will also re-open so that in the event schools cannot offer food parcels or provide an alternative local solution, every child can access free school meals while they are learning at home.