Policy Watch - highlights of week ending 4 September

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As students and MPs returned for the new term, most of the talk remained about this summer’s grading of general and vocational qualifications. Gavin Williamson was quizzed by MPs on what had happened, how much he knew and his relationship with Ofqual. Boris Johnson faced similar questioning as Sir Keir Starmer opened Prime Minister’s Questions with this issue. And prior to that, Ofqual had been grilled by the Education Select Committee on their role in the summer’s happenings. Exchanges have shown the difficulty of the task, once exams were cancelled. but there are clear lessons to learn from what has happened. These need to be addressed ahead of next summer, in case the worst happens again. The Select Committee were very clear on this point. Aside from this, elements of the Government’s plans to support young people in to work were launched. These form part of a bigger plan for skills and employment and it will be interesting to see the take up of these elements, and what this might mean for policy further down the road.

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