Education is the escalator to opportunity. All children deserve the best education possible - giving them the knowledge and skills to go out and build successful lives for themselves in the future.
The Government has already done some excellent work for schools, particularly by ensuring that state education is well funded in order to provide the facilities, equipment, teachers and school buildings all of which enhance our children’s education in so many ways. Locally, I worked very hard to ensure the Building Schools for Future funding was not a victim of paying off the national credit card bill. That said, all new and refurbished schools should be done in full consultation with parents, governors, and teachers. 'Local School' should also mean local.
The Government is also raising school standards and discipline ensuring children are equipped to compete with the rest of the world, seeking to attract top graduates to teaching, as well as investing over 18 billion pounds in new schools, providing state of the art facilities for pupils across the country.
Throughout the county and borough I am always impressed with all those who make our local schools such a great place to learn. Teaching Assistants also play an invaluable role in this collective success.
It is critical that the education system provides for everyone – particularly those most in need. That is why I am pleased that the Government has allocated additional council funds for special educational needs and disabilities. An additional £45 million will be sent to councils to prepare for new measures which will improve support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, including through the creation of a new birth-to-twenty-five system. This is very good news indeed.
It is also important that parents feel properly supported in the years before their children start going to school. This is why the Government has done a great deal to ensure that parents have access to affordable and flexible childcare arrangements, after years of childcare costs spiralling out of control and consuming nearly a quarter of household budgets.
The Government’s new Tax-Free Childcare scheme will see parents receive extra support of up to £2,000 per child per year.
Twice as many parents will now be eligible for support, with up to 1.9 million families eligible for support in the first year that this scheme is rolled out.
All of these are very positive changes and are indicative of the good work done by the Department for Education since this Government took office.
Education is vital in preparing children for life and for social mobility. This requires national and local cooperation. In this endeavour, children should always come first.