Gavin Williamson has been over-promoted – it’s time he went back to his old desk and pet tarantula

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Tuesday 18 August 2020 11:13
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Gavin Williamson refuses to say whether he has offered to resign over A-levels fiasco

Could this chronically inept government make even more of a pig’s ear of this year’s exam results? Boris is off to Scotland for a “staycation”, when he should be back here in London sorting out this fiasco. But he’s just like Trump. Not concerned with the details.

He makes my blood boil. I’m so distraught for these young people. Let’s hope it can be sorted out now after the latest U-turn (how many more?).

Gavin Williamson has been over-promoted way beyond his abilities and should be returned to his previous desk with his tarantula, which only shows a weirdly juvenile predilection for trying to be seen as “edgy”.

Fiona Coombes
Clitheroe, Lancashire

History repeating

Nicola Sturgeon has stated that next year’s election will be the most important in Scotland’s history. I expect she is being hyperbolic and knows it. It will almost certainly be a repeat of every single election in Scotland since 2014.

I expect the SNP will again campaign to stop the Tories, stop Brexit, say we are powerless to change society (it’s Westminster’s fault), and let’s have another independence referendum with the false additional claim that Scotland did better with Covid-19.

Meanwhile, as always, and as opinion polls prove, the majority of Scotland considers the constitutional issue decided and wants to move onto such everyday matters as the economy, education, NHS and the coming global recession.

Not that it will matter in 2021, when we will all tread the same ground in Scotland thanks to the SNP’s intransigence.

David Bone
Girvan, South Ayrshire, Scotland

Schools crisis not over yet

Those of us with young people in our families in their first year of A-level courses are acutely aware of the way in which many students from state schools have been left drifting since March, whilst the independent schools appear to have had greater resources and will to carry on online throughout the pandemic.

This crisis in schools, especially at A-level, is not yet over, and it’s going to need leadership more effective than Gavin Williamson, the schools themselves and the unions have so far demonstrated. There’s a year to go until the next exams. Fair warning to all concerned?

Chris King
North London

Ofqual chairman Roger Taylor says exam regulator took the "wrong road" on A-level and GCSE grading

University challenges

Students have now been given their teacher assessed, true grades. If a student has now achieved the grades to satisfy the offer made by a university, surely there is a legally binding, contractual obligation for the university to provide that place this year.

The student shouldn’t have to pay for the gross error made by this government. Funds must be provided by the government for universities to meet their contractual obligations to provide sufficient places for all students who now satisfy entrance requirements.

Robert Murray
Nottingham

Dido Harding’s new role

I know little about Dido Harding other than that the Test and Trace scheme over which she presided has not been especially world-beating. Given the questionable justification for scrapping (scapegoating?) Public Health England, and the absolute importance of extricating ourselves from the coronavirus pandemic, might it have been a better example of governance to have appointed the supremo of PHE’s successor body by a process of open and transparent competition, in which Ms Harding would have been free to participate.

A quick internet search shows she is a board member of the Newmarket-based Jockey Club whose MP and fervent supporter just happens to be health secretary Matt Hancock. Her Wikipedia entry is light on public health experience. I rest my case.

Patrick Cosgrove
Bucknell, Shropshire

Michelle Obama’s wise words

Today we see Michelle Obama stand by Barack and his work. Melania Trump doesn’t even want to hold Donald’s hand, again. Hands down, we should listen to the wisdom of Michelle Obama and those she supports.

Dennis Fitzgerald
Melbourne, Australia

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