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"Williamson is the worst Education Secretary in a generation" after scathing Public Accounts Committee report. Sack him say Liberal Democrats

May 26, 2021 7:40 AM

Daisy Cooper in front of St Albans CathedralThe Public Accounts Committee report published today severely criticises the Department for Education's handling of the pandemic, including charges of 'no plan' and unprepared. Liberal Democrats Spokesperson for Education Daisy Cooper MP called for him to be sacked. She said:

"Children, parents and teachers have all had an incredibly tough year. The inevitable challenges of Covid have been compounded by the shocking failures of a Conservative Government that has been poorly prepared and slow to act at every stage of the pandemic.

"This report makes clear that Gavin Williamson has failed time after time to show leadership. He was shamefully slow to get laptops to pupils who need them, he sleepwalked into last summer's exam fiasco, and he botched the reopening of schools in January.

"Gavin Williamson is quite simply England's worst Education Secretary in a generation. Boris Johnson should have sacked him long ago.

"We need urgent action and new leadership to stop the upheaval of the past year from permanently damaging the life chances of our children and young people."

The Public Accounts Committee report says that despite being involved in a 2016 cross-govt exercise on dealing with a pandemic, the Department for Education (DfE) had 'no plan' and was 'unprepared' for the challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The report finds that when schools were closed to most pupils in early 2020, the 'DfE set no standards for in-school or remote learning during the rest of the school year' meaning 'children had very unequal experiences,' with govt having still not properly assessed its early response to learn lessons for the future.