Williamson denies forcing Ofqual chief to quit after grades fiasco

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has denied forcing Ofqual’s chief regulator to carry the can for the A-level and GCSE grades debacle.

Sally Collier resigned from her position at the exams watchdog, which has been heavily criticised over its handling of the process for awarding grades following the cancellation of exams.

Mr Williamson has also been under intense pressure after the U-turn which saw a controversial algorithm abandoned in favour of relying on teachers’ assessments of the grades English pupils should receive.

Ofqual chief Sally Collier quits
Ofqual chief Sally Collier quits

Mr Williamson insisted he had not forced Ms Collier out and said the fiasco was due to the “unprecedented” situation caused by the virus.

“No, this was a decision that Sally made, an incredibly dedicated and committed public servant, and in discussions with the Ofqual board, which, as you’re aware, is a non-ministerial government department,” he told BBC’s Breakfast.

“That was a decision between them.”

The Education Secretary indicated he had not considered resigning over the U-turn.

He told Times Radio: “My focus has been working with Ofqual to make sure we get those examination results out and making sure that we have everything in place to be able to welcome young people back into school over the next few weeks.

“That’s where the focus is, that’s what I think people expect us to be doing, that’s what people will expect us to be delivering.”