Steve Baker outside Lane End Primary School
Lane End Primary School

Since becoming Wycombe’s MP in 2010, schools and our education system have always been a key area of my work. From my time speaking with pupils at local schools, hosting students in Parliament, or putting the concerns of headteachers to the Government, I know how important our diverse schools are in Wycombe. The education we give to our young people to serve our community is of acute importance.

Over the years, local people have told me they moved to Wycombe for our superb schools. I am proud that families here have a wide choice, including a co-cooperative school, an all-ability secondary school, faith schools, grammar schools and private schools.

We need more SEND provision locally, so my office and I intervened to pursue a new SEND school, which I am highly confident will open in September.

Alas, the options are at risk of being limited: Sir Kier Starmer and the Labour Party have pledged to impose a 20 per cent tax on private school fees. That would have a range of consequences.

Aspirational parents across the country from all walks of life will know the sacrifice required to send their children to be educated in the private sector. Not only would Labour’s tax impose a huge extra cost to families, it would altogether prohibit some families from sending their children.

A scramble for places in our local schools would follow. Schools in Bucks already take pupils from out of the area. Inevitably, Labour’s policy would further curtail available places for children displaced from the private sector.

Locally, Wycombe Labour has campaigned for years to abolish our grammar schools. This is despite their leader having attended a grammar school himself. Moreover, Labour councillors in Wycombe send their children to grammar schools even as they campaign to end them.

In 1998, then Prime Minister Tony Blair prohibited any new state-maintained grammar schools from opening. Today, grammar schools across the country are at capacity. Under a Labour Government, it seems likely that our grammar schools would be damaged further or even closed.

I have worked hard to bring attention to the issue of school funding for Wycombe’s schools. I recognise that the funding formula used in the past has given more money to other areas in the country. Raising this point, I brought Ministers to see our schools and to discuss this problem.

I am glad that the formula has since changed, giving more money to students in Wycombe. Wycombe’s schools now receive a record amount of funding under this Conservative Government: £91,485,846 has now been committed to Wycombe’s schools for next year. Our Conservative Government will be funding schools at their highest levels in history in 2024-25.

I am proud this Conservative Government has driven education standards up over the past 14 years during my time as Wycombe’s MP. The record funding for Wycombe’s schools will drive these standards further. New international rankings show a significant improvement in the level of maths and science in UK schools, and our pupils are rated the best readers in the Western World according to an Ofsted report published earlier this year.

Our schools are safer under a Conservative government.

Please #VoteConservative on 4 July.

If you would like to discuss the campaign in Wycombe, please email or join my WhatsApp channel:

Comments are closed.