UNDERSTANDABLY, many of you have been in touch with me recently regarding exam results.

I completely recognise this has been an incredibly stressful time for students and their families across the constituency and I am pleased that the decision has now been made for both A-Level and GCSE grades to be awarded centre assessment grades.

However well-intentioned, it became clear that the algorithm generated far too many irregularities, heavily downgrading some students which ultimately undermined confidence in the system and I am grateful to all local schools and colleges, including Richard Huish, who promptly brought this to my attention.

Following results day and engagement with local schools, I urgently liaised with Ministerial colleagues and spoke with the Schools Minister and the Universities Minister to make my views abundantly clear.

The decision has also been taken to remove the student number caps, so there will be no limit on the number of university places and I have been informed that Ofqual will continue to work with universities to support them in providing places for students who have met their required grades.

Those who have accepted another offer will be able to release themselves if they have a preferred offer reinstated. I have also been in touch with Universities UK concerning students who have missed the grades for their offer. They advise students to contact their university directly and emphasised to me that most universities have committed to consider a wide variety of factors in addition to the grade awarded.

I will continue to follow developments closely and I will update you accordingly.

In other news I was delighted that two of my long campaigned for projects have been awarded government funding totalling £5.9m. Both will enhance the area; the £5.5m Digital Innovation Centre will bring new jobs and skills to the Firepool site; and £400,000 to create road, cycle and pedestrian access to Taunton Station will complete the station upgrade (one of my original commitments.)

Finally, please do keep supporting our high streets and local businesses across Taunton, Wellington and Wiveliscombe, they have done a great job to welcome shoppers back safely, let’s help them bounce back, boost our local economy and protect jobs.

MP for Taunton Deane