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Gavin Williamson has made headlines due to the shambles of A-level results which is unfolding across the country. The Education Secretary has come under fire for a major upset in the exams system which has seen thousands of hopeful students have their results downgraded due to a inefficient system for measuring results.
Students across the country have been eagerly awaiting exam results – even though no exams have taken place this year due to coronavirus.
Teachers were told to submit the grades they thought each student would have received if exams had gone ahead, alongside a rank order of students.
Exam boards moderated these grades to ensure this year’s results were not significantly higher than previously and the value of students’ grades were not undermined.
In England, a total of 35.6 percent of grades were adjusted down by one grade, 3.3 percent were brought down by two grades and 0.2 percent came down by three grades, figures from Ofqual show.
The system has been met with widespread outrage, with school leaders and students calling out the Education Secretary.
Mr Williamson said the Government had put in a “robust” appeals system for those students who were unhappy with their results but that it was essential to ensure there was consistency across the country.
He said: “As a father myself, as someone who always does the absolute best for all the children right across the country, it is about trying to put as much fairness into the system as possible.
“If you effectively rip up a whole book and say you are not having standards, not having the same sort of consistency, you will have had some schools who would have literally put in every child as either an A or an A* or a B.”
Who is Gavin Williamson?
Born on June 25, 1976, Mr Williamson was raised in Scarborough by Labour-supporting parents.
He went to a local comprehensive school and sixth form college before taking a social sciences degree at the University of Bradford.
His father worked at the local council, his mother at a job centre.
Despite his upbringing, he has been an active Tory supporter since his teens, holding the chair of Conservative Students.
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His background is in manufacturing and design at a pottery in Staffordshire and an architectural design company.
Mr Williamson was first elected to parliament in 2010 and has surprised those in his office with his pet tarantula, Cronus, who lives in his parliamentary office.
He got his big break as Parliamentary Private Secretary to David Cameron from 2013 to 2016 and was selected by Mrs May as her parliamentary campaign manager for the contest for the Conservative leadership triggered by Mr Cameron’s resignation following the Brexit referendum.
He also was awarded a CBE in Mr Cameron’s resignation honours for political and public service.
He served as the Chief Whip since July 2016 and was elected as MP for South Staffordshire in the 2017 election.
Gavin Williamson made headlines following an unauthorised disclosure of information from the National Security Council regarding Hauwai’s involvement in the distribution of 5G in the UK.
He was famously sacked, and Mr Williamson said he was “tried by a kangaroo court.”
He allegedly told journalists that Theresa May was planning to allow Chinese state-linked firm Huawei to build Britain’s mobile network despite fears the company is a massive security risk.
He has vehemently defended his innocence since, telling The Sun: “I did not leak this, and to my dying day I will keep on insisting that.”
He did manage to make a comeback in Boris Johnson’s Government, when he was appointed Education Secretary.
He vehemently supported current Prime Minister Johnson in his election campaign – MPs say he has used forceful persuasion tactics including telling some their careers would be over unless they backed Johnson – something he denies.
Mr Williamson is married with two children.
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