6 January 2021
Peter Aldous calls for clear Government leadership on BTEC exams

Peter Aldous calls on the Government to provide clear leadership for colleges as some colleges and schools have cancelled BTEC exams whereas others have not.

Peter Aldous (Waveney) (Con) [V]

I welcome the statement by the Secretary of State. The economic recovery will be skills based, and the Government have rightly placed much emphasis on the importance of BTECs. However, there is worry, confusion and uncertainty in colleges and schools. Many have cancelled this month’s exams, but others have not. They should not have been placed in a position of having to make their own choice as to whether to go ahead with exams. The Government should have shown clear leadership so that all students across the country were in the same situation. Will the Secretary of State work with Ofqual, the exam boards and the Association of Colleges to put in place as quickly as possible new arrangements that will provide students and teachers with certainty, clarity and confidence?

Gavin Williamson 

As my hon. Friend will have heard in my statement, that is exactly what I have said we would do. For clarity, there are many colleges that know for their students’ future prospects they need to complete assessments this month if those students are to be able access work and employment opportunities. So no, I am not going to go down the route that my hon. Friend suggested of taking that opportunity potentially to access work and other opportunities away from them, because I do not believe that that would be right for those children.