Results day marks end of tough year for students, writes Grantham MP Gareth Davies
Column by Gareth Davies, MP for Grantham and Stamford
I distinctly remember walking up to the main entrance of my school 21 years ago, it was a bright sunny day but the heat was not the reason for my pale complexion and sweaty brow.
Results day indiscriminately provides a moment of dread, uniting all students with a common exhausting anguish built up following months and years of hard work.
I remember the feeling well and am rather pleased those days are over. But for hundreds of thousands of young people this week, that moment came as A level, GCSE and vocational results were published after one of the toughest years imaginable for students.
Young people have shown incredible resilience throughout the pandemic, continuing their education amid unprecedented challenges.
I wish all of our local students the very best, whatever their result, with their next chapter, whether it’s an apprenticeship, a job or continuing with education.
For those who are planning on going to university, I know they will likely be as concerned as I am that some institutions have stated that they intend to continue with remote, virtual learning even when it is safe to return to the classroom.
In my view this is not right, a big part of going to university is the interaction with other students - in my own case, I often say that I learned more from my classmates than I did from the textbooks.
Therefore, I agree with those calling for students to return to the classroom, and if the university will not facilitate this, they should cut their fees.
I was delighted to learn today that Covid vaccine hesitancy among 18-21 year olds has almost halved and data shows that an increasing number of 16 and 17 year-olds are willing to have the jab.
Last week the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JVCI) advised that older teenagers should receive the vaccination.
This will further help us keep the virus at bay and return to normal life and mean that events such as festivals and music concerts can operate safer in the knowledge that more people will be vaccinated.
Covid has obviously hit festival organisers and concert venues hard, and as restrictions are lifted, they have struggled to secure the right kind of insurance for their large events.
This is why the government has announced that a new Live Events Reinsurance Scheme is to be launched. This new scheme will see the government stepping in with a guarantee to make sure insurers offer the protection events companies need if the event becomes legally unable to happen due to Covid.
I hope this won’t be required, but I know many in the events industry will welcome the ability to now plan with more security.