With the autumn school term beginning, most pupils across Mid Sussex have been returning to schools this week, re-connecting with their teachers and friends. This is extremely positive, as we all know that face-to-face education is the best way for our children to learn.
On Monday, the Education Secretary and DfE Ministers answered questions from all Members on matters concerning education. I wanted to highlight a few matters raised by my ministerial colleagues, which I know have been of great interest and concern to constituents:
Ongoing safety measures against COVID-19 in schools
- Maintaining proportionate protective measures such as testing, ventilation and extra hygiene to keep pupils and staff safe.
- On-site testing will be offered as secondary school students return, followed by regular at-home testing
- The Government will be reviewing the need for children to be doing home testing at the end of September
Education recovery for pupils and students with special educational needs
- The high needs budget has been increased by a record £2.3 billion, which is over a third over the past three years.
- Good progress with the special educational needs and disability review is being made
GCSE and A-level examinations in summer 2022
- Together with Ofqual, we have consulted on adaptations to GCSE and A-level exams in 2022, so that they take account of the disruption to pupils’ education
- There will be no change to the grading system for 2022 but we are looking at the longer-term issue about grading in GCSEs and A-levels.
For the full Education Orals Q&As please visit Topical Questions debated on Monday 6 September 2021 and Education Orals, Monday 6 September, 2021
During these incredibly challenging 18 months, many constituents have expressed their concerns and thoughts to me, often sharing personal experiences as teaching staff or/and as parents. This has helped me when engaging with my ministerial colleagues in the Department for Education. I would like to pay tribute to our fantastic teaching staff, who have been working incredibly hard to put safety measures in place for children and young people.