Williamson’s blunders in the chamber further evidence serial incompetence – Kate Green
Labour has accused Gavin Williamson of “serial incompetence” after he appeared to make multiple mistakes about his own Department’s policies in the chamber of the House of Commons.
The embattled Education Secretary said that his Department had made £100 million available for universities to use to ensure that students have digital access.”
However, while the Department for Education has provided some funding to provide digital access, this has been aimed entirely at schools, not universities.
In his second mistake, Williamson said that the “Student Loans Company also offers a system whereby extra maintenance support can be made available through individual assessment.” Students can change their maintenance loan applications if there is a change in their household income, but this does not allow the Student Loans Company to provide additional maintenance support simply because of increased needs for students.
Commenting on inaccurate statements made by Gavin Williamson in the House of Commons, Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said:
“Gavin Williamson’s blunders in the chamber are just further evidence of the serial incompetence he has displayed all summer.
“A Minister who cannot even keep on top of his own Department will inspire no confidence in the students, staff, and families affected by the situation at universities.”
“He needs to get a grip, urgently introduce genuine measures to allow all students to access the digital learning they need, and stop letting down young people.”
Notes to Editors
- Gavin Williamson in response to Kate Green earlier in the House of Commons said: “I’m sorry that she had missed the announcement of the fact we had made £100m available for universities to be able to use to ensure youngsters have digital access… some of those youngsters from the most deprived youngsters…” https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2020-09-29/debates/780E3096-4E83-4DF8-80AC-6F2F9DBBE5C7/Students’ReturnToUniversities
- This fund is not in fact open to Universities and was available ” to schools, maintained schools, academy trusts and hospital schools, as well as further education providers who have enrolled 14 to 16-year-olds, are included within this offer.” https://www.gov.uk/guidance/get-help-with-technology-for-remote-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19
- Gavin Williamson also said that students are able to seek additional maintenance funding through the Student Loans Company. This is not accurate