We all know how important education is to ensure a bright future for our young people and our community. Whether it was speaking at local schools, hosting students in Parliament, or raising the concerns of headteachers with Government, I have always made supporting and improving the schools in our area a key part of my work.

Similarly, I have long highlighted the issue of school funding in Wycombe and that fairer funding is required for the schools in our area. As Wycombe’s MP, I brought Ministers to see our schools, including the former Minister for School Standards Robin Walker. The funding formula that has been used in the past favoured other parts of the country but ignored the needs found in our own communities. This was not fair and I am pleased the formula has been changed to give more money to Wycombe pupils.

Happily, Wycombe will now receive record amounts of funding allocated to our schools with over £90,000,000 of funding being committed to our schools for next year.

Furthermore, numerous schools in Wycombe are receiving extra funding to upgrade their facilities. These include:

  • Tylers Green Middle School: £6,886
  • Castlefield School: £9,063
  • Cressex Community School: £16,862
  • Highcrest Academy: £22,728
  • Wycombe High School £28,429

This builds on an already strong education system, with new international rankings showing a considerable improvement in the level of reading, maths, and science in UK schools. The Conservative Government has seen education standards driven up over the last 14 years, with pupils in our schools rated the best readers in the western world according to Ofsted statistics published in March.

One of our local education system’s greatest strengths is school choice. We have a co-operative school, an all-ability school secondary school, faith schools, grammar schools and upper schools. Some are academies and others are under the control of the Local Education Authority. This overall mix means our education results for all children are some of the best in the country. Wycombe Labour has campaigned for years to see grammar schools abolished, despite many Labour councillors sending their children to grammar schools. They want it for their own children, but want to deny everyone else. Many people move to this area for the good schooling and a Labour Government will almost certainly mean our grammar schools are forced to close.

I believe people should be able to choose the school they think would be right for their child. Parents know their children best. Labour’s plan to put VAT on school fees will certainly mean people on average incomes will find it even harder to choose a school outside mainstream provision. Not only that, but people who can no longer afford to send their children to the fee-paying sector will find most schools in Wycombe are filled to capacity and there will be no spare spaces to accommodate them. There will be a grotesque scramble for places, which will disadvantage everyone.

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