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Sociology at Brampton

My thoughts on grade assessments

3rd April 2021

Out of the crypts of the grey halls of Whitehall emerges a thin figured suited man, with an aroma of black coffee following him. He sits on his wooden desk clasping his ballpoint pen, whilst noting upon a string of documents. One of them is titled ‘Examinations 2021’ and the rest of the page is blank. These are likely scenes that emerged at the Department for Education. One thing is certain, there was little coming out of the halls to calm down either students or teachers.

Whilst now we supposedly have a clear idea with what is going on with assessments, the Department for Education sure liked to keep tensions high by notifying students of the exact plans just four months before exams were to go ahead. Even though they had a wealth of time to come up with their masterminded plan. A plan which has seemingly left everything in the hands of the teachers. They could have handed teachers this news months ago, and it wouldn’t have made a difference. Then again, Williamson is known for his distinct approach as Education Secretary where his tenure will likely not be forgotten.

So I ask, how did an Ex-Defence Secretary – thought to have leaked high security information to possibly the most hostile state in the modern world – land a core cabinet positon which affects every single person in education (which is of course largely the youth population)? After a monstrous standardisation model which led to students being granted far lower grades than they deserved, the man still manged to hold his position.

As most Politics A level students know, one of the core tenets of the British Cabinet is ‘Individual Ministerial Responsibility’. It seems the Education Secretary has pushed this convention completely out of the Downing Street window – likely, thinking ‘I can’t get it any worse than here’. But, with new stories coming out such as the national tutoring programme hiring Sri Lankan teenagers below minimum wage to teach the nation’s youngest, it seems the second time is not holding well so far for Mr Williamson. Although I am grateful he’s placed his trust in teachers whose trust with him long disappeared, I am sceptic that all is solved. I may be falling to inductive evidence, but I fear that history will repeat itself in terms of a grade failure in 2021 results. I, do however, remain thankful that our teachers will at least be supporting us as best they can.

By Brampton Student


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