Probably in vain, on behalf of my highly talented mathematical eldest grandson, I direct a question at Gavin Williamson. It is this:
Did you actually instigate testing of your prized algorithm to look for anomalies in its results? Did you also assess the likely volume of such anomalies? If so, how was it possible for you to approve its results? Do you not have independent advisers to help you, or is there total reliance on Dominic Cummings? Is this the Achilles heel of the present government?
To my dismay, when the PM enthuses about his robust system, he risks alienating many of those who voted for him last time. It is no exaggerating to claim that he has, through his chains of command, began to descend the downhill slope to obscurity.
It is looking like he the one-eyed man in the land of the Tory blind. Bluster can be forgiven, but not when the pill he wants those in education, professionals and pupils alike, far too bitter to swallow.
If Priti Patel can take time to visit border staff and assess immigration problems personally, can Gavin Williamson confirm he showed the same level of dedication in his role? If he did, why has this crucial aspect of audit seemingly been botched?
What I haven’t mentioned, until now, is that both of my eldest grandson’s paternal grandparents are qualified mathematicians, who are as baffled by his savagely reduced A-level results as are those at his highly regarded, top-notch state school in Surrey. The alleged savants who defined the algorithm are pitiless to those who couldn’t sit their exams. They have no empathy with reality. Neither, so it seems, does Gavin Williamson or the ebullient Johnson, whose obvious shortcoming is the skill of numeracy.
I’ve just checked on the comments made on the Chief Exec of OFQUAL (Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) when she was appointed in 2016. These appear to have been made by civil service insiders.
Sally does have a talent for securing jobs where her lack of experience appears to be irrelevant…
A very fair assessment in many ways but I remain very unconvinced.
PCRs for example were scrapped because they led to little practical change. Whilst the method was sound, the follow through on diagnostic to action wasn’t there.
I would also disagree with the excellent manager statement. I saw nepotism and huge artificial inflation of roles and salary. The number of SCS roles in CCS shows that; even overlooking the staff on boarding.
What is very accurate is her ability as a policy civil servant and playing the game. I’m just very unsure of what real practical difference any of it made.
Re: “but she was ‘in the thick of it’, surrounded by ineptitude, and by poor, uninformed, or over-informed, decision-making.”
That’s where you and I will disagree. My view is very firmly that she was part of the ineptitude. She had no grasp of the practical implications and consequently led a merry little band of hangers-on into many a dead end.