There’s no doubt that this will be a year we’ll remember for the rest of our lives; a year of lockdowns, of rules, of sadness, of being frightened. It’s also been a year where we’ve adapted, where we’ve explored more of the outdoors, been able to appreciate all the things that make us truly happy and where we’ve learned how to use Zoom! For most of you, this is a year where your learning has also looked and felt very different. We heard a few weeks ago that exams and assessments would also look different. When decisions were being made about these things, my main focus has been, and always will be, to make sure the Government listens to your views and experiences. I’ve also worked hard to make sure any changes are fair, take account of different experiences, and that you have space to focus on learning rather than be anxious about exams. I know you also need a system that really makes sure you gain the qualifications you need to advance into future career paths.
In her announcement today, the Minister was clear in her instructions and I couldn’t agree more with her: please rest and keep you and your family safe over Christmas. Be safe in the knowledge that in 2021 we’ll continue to work hard so that you get your rights to be listened to, get clear information, treated fairly, your wellbeing supported and to an education that helps you fulfil your potential.