Published: 06:00, 04 June 2023
As parents, we all know the importance of school and a good education, writes Stamford MP Gareth Davies.
Our children are the future of our country, so it is essential that we create schools where our children are happy, learn kindness, and have opportunity. This is central to their ability to learn and thrive at school.
I am delighted to say that our plan is working in this area. Last month, we heard the fantastic news that England has moved up to fourth internationally for reading, following the success of the Phonics Screening Check and the English Hubs Programme.
Stamford and Grantham MP Gareth Davies (Con)
Across the board, school standards are in a good place compared to other comparable countries. Our 9- and 10-year-olds now have higher literacy scores than the international and European averages, and at the most recent PISA education rankings, British 15-year-olds outperformed the average for developed countries in maths, literacy, and science.
Crucially, these high standards are replicated locally. We are lucky to have some of the very best primary and secondary schools in the country, and I have been fortunate enough to meet students from almost every school and college in our area, totalling over 30 local school visits so far.
Over just the past year or so, I have seen our wonderful local teachers in action at a number of schools and colleges, from Malcolm Sargent Primary School to Stamford College.
School. Photo: istock
However, it is vital that we continue to solve the challenges facing our schools, including the disruption caused by the pandemic, as we look to the future.
Firstly, to match our literacy success, all pupils will soon study maths through to the age of 18, giving them the numerical skills needed for the jobs of the future, and the confidence to deal with their personal finances in later life.
Secondly, school budgets will rise by 3.5 billion next year, which the IFS says means per pupil funding will reach its highest ever level in real terms.
Within this, an almost 3 million cash boost to local schools will help headteachers manage higher costs like energy bills and teacher pay, and more money will support disadvantaged pupils and special schools.
Local schools are also receiving targeted support, with The Little Gonerby Church of England Primary Academy in Grantham and the Bourne Abbey Church of England Primary Academy set to receive a share of over 450 million in extra national funding to upgrade school buildings across the country.
With greater funding, a pathway to improved numeracy skills alongside our literacy success, and upgraded school buildings, I am confident that our children will continue to learn in a safe and happy environment.
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