Education secretary Gavin Williamson has hailed improving outcomes for young people, wherever they live, as central to the Government’s plans for building back better from the pandemic.
Speaking at the Festival of Education, he said the Government would level up opportunity for young people, through strong multi-academy trusts, high-quality teacher training, good behaviour management and investment to help pupil’s catch-up.
He reiterated the importance of good behaviour, including his calls to ban mobile phones during the school day. He also confirmed that a consultation on changes to guidance on behaviour, discipline and exclusions would be set out later this year.
Speaking at the Festival of Education, education secretary Gavin Williamson said: “We are just as determined as ever to make sure that every child gets the world-class start in life that we expect and that they deserve. Improving outcomes for pupils is our number one priority and as we build back better from COVID-19, it’s more critical than it has ever been.”
He also confirmed his intention for exams to go ahead in 2022, with plans being developed to ensure grades are fair for students, and restated confidence that grades determined by teachers this summer will reflect the abilities and hard work of young people.
Young children’s development has been particularly affected by the pandemic, and plans for an exceptional Year 2 phonics screening check in the autumn term to help ensure all young pupils grasp the basics of reading, as part of the full return of primary assessments in the next academic year. He also praised the work of teachers and staff during the pandemic, and outlined the Government’s ambitious long-term plans and investment in teacher training and development. These include reforming early career development support, providing half a million teacher training opportunities and introducing teaching school hubs alongside a new Institute of Teaching.