MY first priority this week has been to challenge government on the situation with exam grades. It has been invaluable to work with Dan Watts, the headteacher at Woodroffe School, whose students have achieved an outstanding set of results.
It was my duty to support the Woodroffe students and that’s why I sent an open letter to them, and had pressing conversations with Education Ministers, to make sure this regrettable issue was rectified. In my view, nothing can properly replace the actual sitting of exams and no algorithm will measure a student’s abilities as accurately.
One of the consequences of the pandemic, while our focus has been on keeping communities safe, has been the disruption to education and exams. Nationally, the unions that made going back to school so difficult also have to look in the mirror at this point.
The change in policy from Ofqual, given the circumstances, was the right thing but it came far too late. The challenge now is that the numbers of students wanting university places is much more than capacity allows.
For the latest updates on exam results, including for BTEC and vocational students, please visit my website www.chrisloder.co.uk/news/exams
I was pleased to learn that Town Mill’s historic watermill is open again and ready to welcome a free interaction experience instead of its usual tours.
The Town Mill is the hidden gem of Lyme Regis and I hope that interest in its 14th century watermill will also bring more footfall to the surrounding art galleries, brewery and cafés.
With outdoor performances now back at The Marine Theatre, and plenty of visitors enjoying all that we have to offer in our coastal areas here in West Dorset, these are all positive signs as we slowly get back to some normality.
Lastly, for small local businesses in Lyme Regis, the second round of taxable grant payments (SEISS) for the self-employed adversely coronavirus by co, is now open. £12 million was paid to the self-employed in West Dorset under this scheme during the first round and I urge eligible businesses to apply by October 19 via the gov.uk website.
For my latest updates please visit www.chrisloder.co.uk or if you prefer, you may write to me at: Chris Loder MP, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA