There will be an announcement on exam grades this afternoon. Will the Government “do a Northern Ireland” – clinging to standardisation for A-levels, but chucking it for GCSEs? Or “do a Scotland” – i.e: ditch it for both? Or something else entirely?
George Grylls of the Times is keeping a useful – and growing list – of Tory MPs calling for a rethink (see above). It’s worth noting that the unhappy tweeters include Penny Mordaunt, a senior Minister. Whips are now telling backbenchers that the Government “is in listening mode”.
As we wrote yesterday, “Ofqual U-turn over appeals was a shambles, and will register on the Conservative backbenches”. That – and the sense it confirmed that Ministers are not in control of events – is driving the pressure on Number Ten and the Education Department.
The political question isn’t whether or not a reverse ferret is coming. Rather, it’s whether the Governmen U-turns or V-turns: i.e – whether Ministers toil away at patching up their damaged ship…or try to slash themselves loose from the wreckage entirely.