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Acland-Hood appointed to handle exams response
EB News: 24/08/2020 - 07:49
The government has appointed Susan Acland-Hood to lead on its response to exams amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The civil servant will become the Department for Education's second permanent secretary for six weeks.
Early on in lockdown, the government cancelled exams due to take place over the summer due to the outbreak. Her appointment follows mass backlash over A level and GCSE results, for which the government and Ofqual belatedly u-turned.
The algorithm used to moderate this year's grades led to thousands of students being downgraded, and after rising pressute across the board, the government reverted to teacher assessments to determine marks.
In a statement, the Cabinet Office said Acland-Hood's appointment would 'ensure that the government is able to respond fully to exam results, whilst also ensuring the return of schools in September'.
Nearly two-thirds of headteachers and principals have called for a rebate of 75% or more on exam fees following the cancellation of this summer’s public exams and the responsibility for assessing exams shifting to schools and colleges.
The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) has said that the Department for Education's proposed revisions to its fire safety guidance for schools in England are "immensely disappointing" and believes the department should "think again".
The government has given the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award a funding boost of £3.4 million, so that more pupils, particularly in the most deprived areas of England, can access volunteering and extra-curricular learning through the scheme.
The easing of restrictions that saw the mass return to the classroom for primary and secondary pupils across the UK should serve as a reminder of the importance of regularly reviewing entrance control processes and perimeter systems for schools.