For years I have campaigned to improve our education system for our constituency and for the country as a whole. From primary school to further education, a transparent, ambitious and deliverable system is the only way to ensure we raise the next generation with the educational standards we expect and the standards which provide them with the tools to build their own life and pave their own way in this world.
I have served in the Education Select Committee but more recently I have been proud to serve as Minister for Children and Families through which I am able to work towards making the necessary changes I believe will enhance our education system. This includes delivering on alternative subjects for schools like T-Levels, a series of technical qualifications to recognise the importance of other skillsets which are equally important and should be equally valued.
Campaigning for more money for our schools has been a long term goal which I began before I became a Member of Parliament and so to be part of the £14 billion extra investment in our schools is a privilege. This translates to a minimum of £5,000 per pupil for each secondary schools and a minimum £3,750 for each primary school, rising to £4,000 in 2021-22. I consider this an incredible win for our schools which I have been visiting on a weekly basis for the last few years, running democracy workshops and raising awareness on important issues like plastic pollution. The next generation is the future and we should never take for granted how important their education is.
We also have to recognise how vital it is to support those with special education needs and disability (SEND) and whilst it is brilliant news that SEND funding will rise by 8.2% per head up to £51.3 million for Wiltshire, I have long been sceptical of the one “centre of excellence” solution. This would see St Nicholas school in Chippenham close to make way for one large school on the Rowdeford site which is something I have long opposed and campaigned against with my colleague Andrew Murrison and I am clear that Wiltshire Council must listen to parents and local voices in their decision making.