Welcome to my August newsletter. Parliament is currently in recess (ie not sitting), so while I may not be in Westminster, it does not mean that my work for you has stopped. It has been good to spend more time back in Luton focusing on constituency issues.
Obviously, the past couple of weeks have been dominated by the government's A-level results fiasco. It was pitiful to hear the government insisting that the Ofqual algorithm had delivered "robust" and fair results before bowing to public and political pressure to u-turn when it became clear that this was not the case and was in fact a system which would exacerbate existing educational inequalities.
It was totally unfair to see Luton Sixth Form College students have around 40% of their grades downgraded whilst many students of fee-paying schools having their grades go up. Many local students wrote to me telling me how they had been unfairly impacted and that they were finding the situation incredibly stressful as it would affect their ability to go to their chosen University. In response I wrote to the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson urging the government to revert to the teacher recommended Centre Assessed Grade (CAGs). Following a weekend of uncertainty and confusion the government finally agreed to revert to CAGs and admitted they had got it wrong.
Although I welcome the government’s decision it does not completely resolve the issues facing Luton's students, as there is confusion over the appeals process and many universities have already allocated places to other students. I will continue to do whatever I can to support Luton South students though this difficult period and promise to stand with next year’s students too.