To all those who received their A level results last week and all those who get their GCSE results this week, good luck for what the future holds and well done for reaching this important stage in your lives. You may be on track to do exactly as you planned. You may have had to change what you planned to do. Don’t worry. Things will work out.
When I’ve spoken to school children in the last weeks of their final terms in school recently, I have reminded them to be kind to their parents. GCSE and A level results are a shared experience. So if you are a pupil or a parent, be kind to each other and look forward to embarking on the next stage of your lives.
For new sixth formers the prospect of travelling around the country to visit different colleges and universities will be filling your thoughts this year. There’s good news from the Department for Transport on that front this week, with the unveiling of the brand new, which guarantees half-price rail travel for young people in England and Wales.
Whether starting or returning to sixth-form or college, beginning an apprenticeship or entering the world of work, teenagers can start using their discounted tickets on Monday 2 September. It is forecast to save young people and their families an average of £186 every year and set to boost education opportunities, communities and businesses with young people able to travel more affordably.
The 16 – 17 Saver can be purchased for £30 online at www.16-17saver.co.uk or by calling 0345 301 1656 and goes on sale this week.
This is a positive step, but we need a rail system where passengers of all ages get a fair deal. While the government has frozen regulated fares in line with inflation for the seventh year in a row, there is a need to do more. Which is why the government has launched an independently-led Government review of the railway, including looking at fares reforms and value for money for passengers. This review will report in the Autumn with reforms expected to begin in 2020. I have no doubt there will great interest in this constituency, where so many of us commute to London to work and find rail fares taking up a large chunk of our monthly outgoings.