Over the last 24 hours, I have been contacted by schools in Edgbaston who have had almost every single one of their students’ results downgraded.
I have been contacted by straight A students whose downgrades have been so severe they have had their unconditional university offers rescinded – something they didn’t even realise was possible.
This government's chaotic mishandling of A-level results means that a generation of young people will be unable to live the future they've worked so hard to achieve.
Here in the West Midlands, we lost out to more affluent regions when it came to the awarding of top marks and we are the worst performing region for top grades.
Data from Ofqual shows that exam boards have downgraded nearly two in five pupils’ A-level grades in England. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds have been disproportionately affected by downgrades, while students from independent schools have seen top grades disproportionately rise.
It is deeply unfair that a lottery of circumstance, and not their hard work and ability, has decided their futures.
The system should have been far more transparent from the beginning, and Labour called for the early publication of further information about which students would lose out.
The government needs to take immediate action to right the wrongs felt by so many students here in Birmingham and across the country:
1. The government should require universities and other education providers to be far more flexible in their approach to admissions.
2. Individual students need to be given the right to appeal if they believe their grade is not accurate.
3. All fees for A-level appeals should be waived this year, so schools face no financial barriers to appealing.
4. A return to teacher assessments for those who have been downgraded.
If you agree with me that no young person should be at a detriment due to government incompetence, then sign and share our petition to demand the government re-thinks its approach.
Nominate NHS heroes for the NHS Parliamentary Awards 2020
All our NHS staff, volunteers and society’s carers deserve recognition, but there are many that go above and beyond the call of duty to make the NHS a better service – with hard work, exciting new ideas and simply by putting patients first.
Do you know a local person, team or organisation that has gone above and beyond for the NHS? I’m looking for local health and care heroes to put forward for the 2020 NHS Parliamentary Awards.
I know there are some excellent and innovative things going on in Birmingham and so I want to showcase and honour the best of the best in our area.
There are ten award categories, covering key areas such as mental health and primary care, as well as a Lifetime Achievement award for someone who has contributed to the success of the NHS for 40 years or more and the Rising Star award for someone who has made a significant contribution to our local service.
Further information on the categories can be found on the link below, and nominations close on 1 September, so please send them in to me as soon as possible at firstname.lastname@example.org
From 30 August, there will be changes to three National Express West Midlands bus routes - the 27, 49 and 76. Click the button below for more information on what the changes will mean for you.
Following a number of route and service changes in the constituency over recent years, I am pleased to announce that National Express West Midlands has agreed to my request to send a joint survey out to residents in September.
The survey will be your opportunity to have a say over the bus services in our area. Any feedback you provide will be invaluable to both myself and National Express West Midlands in better understanding what is working and, just as importantly, where improvements could be made.
An MP's office is busy at the best of times, but this pandemic has seen my caseload increase dramatically. The number of urgent and serious cases coming into my office, especially from more vulnerable constituents, has never been higher.
Since lockdown began, my office has opened almost 4,000 cases on behalf of constituents on a wide range of issues, received over 10,000 emails as well as hundreds of letters and phone calls.
Although, not all the cases are related to Covid-19, this crisis has worsened many pre-existing issues, and with the changes in rules and support available, there is an increased risk that constituents in already precarious situations will fall through the cracks.
As ever, please do not hesitate to get in touch if there is anything I can help with. My team and I can be contacted in the usual ways:
The Prime Minister’s Whitehall restructure expected to cost at least £50 million to the taxpayer
In June, the Prime Minister announced a large-scale Whitehall restructure that will see the Department for International Development (DfID) taken over by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
The DfID takeover is expected to cost at least £50 million to the British taxpayer, money that could have been better spent during this Covid-19 crisis paying for more than 2,000 qualified nurses or 8.3 million Covid-19 antibody tests.
The government should be completely focused on getting on with its job of governing the country and steering us through the huge challenges we face.
Getting rid of an independent DfID during a global pandemic is irresponsible, counter-productive and wrong. It is consistently rated as the most effective and transparent department at delivering real value for money for British taxpayers, whereas the FCO routinely ranks far worse.
At a time when we need the global health expertise to drive the global response to Covid-19 and avoid further deadly waves, abolishing the department will undoubtedly put the lives of people here in the UK and those abroad at serious risk.