Letter from Westminster - 27th August 2020

I would like to thank all school staff across the constituency who have spent the summer months making classrooms Covid-secure in preparation for a full return in September. Parents can feel reassured about the safety measures that have been put in place. Schools will have year group bubble zones, hygiene measures are in place and in many schools a staggered arrival will be implemented.

I welcome that we will see our children back in their classrooms. I believe it is a moral imperative that children are in school – children want to be back with their friends, and they need to resume their education. We cannot afford for our children to lose out on any more education.

We now have test and trace and therefore much more information on the virus. Infection rates and fatalities are also significantly lower. We have always been guided by our scientific and medical experts, and we now know far more about coronavirus than we did earlier this year. As the Chief Medical Officer has said, the risk of contracting Covid-19 in school is very small and it is far more damaging for a child’s development and their health and wellbeing to be away from school any longer.

For me it is vital that we get our children back into the classroom to learn and to be with their friends. Nothing will have a greater effect on the life chances of our children than returning to school.

I understand any parents worry but it would be a significant risk to keep children at home. Education is at the centre of everything we do and there will be an “epidemic of educational poverty” if we don’t get our children back into school.

Until we have a vaccine and know even more about this pandemic, we will have to live with it and so we must all do what we need to do and stay alert to stop coronavirus spreading. If you think you have the virus, don't go to your GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days.

After a busy summer in the constituency, I will be back in Westminster from the 1st September where I will continue my role as the Parliamentary Private Secretary for the Department of International Trade. A department which is implementing the important steps for our country to be a truly global Britain, providing more opportunities for local businesses to foster closer economic ties outside of the European Union.

I will of course continue my constituency work supporting the Justice for Ryan campaign, visiting Corbett Hospital and Bushy Fields, working with the local community and Dudley Council on the need for regeneration in Lye and Cradley, the Black Country Plan, specifically the Green Belt and joining the local street watch teams to name just a few of the planned visits. If you see me out and about do come across and say hello too.