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Westminster Diary: 26/08/20

Congratulations to all students who recently collected their GCSE and A Level results. This year has been incredibly challenging for students, who have faced uncertainty and stress over their grades and futures. I wish you every success in the next steps, whatever you have chosen to do.

 

I was pleased the Government finally announced a u-turn on their grading fiasco: students for both A-Levels and GCSE’s will now be given the grades assessed by their teachers and college lecturers. This is a huge victory for all local students that have made their voices heard.

 

The Government had months to prepare, yet it ignored repeated warnings about the consequences of its marking system and gambled with the futures of these young people. Many local students have sadly lost their university offers; they now meet the grades but the places have been filled. The Government urgently needs to provide students and the Higher Education sector with clarity and a credible plan to resolve the chaos it has caused.

 

The next big challenge now is to ensure children can return to school safely in September. I hope the Government succeed, as we all want our schools fully functioning as soon as possible, but I’m afraid this most recent shambles does not instil confidence. I do not see any evidence of a proper plan for schools returning, let alone a plan B if covid cases begin to significantly rise again. Why hasn’t the Government used the last few months finding additional space for our schools to use to allow for proper social distancing? Will teaching staff have access to proper PPE? I’ll be pressing these questions when Parliament returns next week.

 

If you wish to contact me about coronavirus, please check the Covid-19 section on my website first -?you are likely to find an answer there.? Otherwise, I can be contacted by email at ‘matt.western.mp@parliament.uk’ or you can ring my office on ?01926 882006.