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Starmer: Williamson ‘must explain how he will make up for damage done to pupils’

The Labour leader said the Education Secretary should face MPs.

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Keir Starmer (Joe Giddens/PA)

Keir Starmer (Joe Giddens/PA)

Keir Starmer (Joe Giddens/PA)

Sir Keir Starmer has accused the Government of taking a “chaotic approach” to education as he demanded Gavin Williamson show how he will “make up for the damage already done” to pupils.

Ahead of schools reopening and MPs returning to Westminster, the Labour leader said the Education Secretary should go to Parliament to “tell us how he will protect our children’s futures”.

Sir Keir said Mr Williamson “needs to explain how he will make up for the damage already done, bring pupils up to speed and mitigate against the ongoing risk from the pandemic”.

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Gavin Williamson (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Gavin Williamson (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

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Gavin Williamson (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The Labour leader said this week would bring a mixture of excitement and anxiety for millions of families across England.

“Excitement for children who will be back in the classroom for the first time in months. But anxiety for teachers and parents about a year ahead that is full of uncertainty because of a pandemic that continues to cast its shadow over children’s education.

“I want to pay tribute to the extraordinary dedication of our teachers and school staff who have worked tirelessly over the summer to make sure schools can reopen safely.

“Labour want and expect children to be back at school. Every day that schools were closed was a day of opportunity, learning and support lost. This situation was worsened by the exams fiasco and the Government’s chaotic approach to education.

“We cannot keep repeating those same mistakes. Young people’s futures cannot be held back by the Conservatives’ incompetence.”

PA