The previous Government's Building Schools for the Future in Staffordshire scheme was a convoluted and bureaucratic process that wasted £4 million over four years before a single cement mixer was even on site. Across the entire country less than 100 schools were actually built and many took as long as 6 years until the buildings were ready. Fortunately the Coalition ended this money-wasting and time-consuming scheme as soon as it entered office.
Although new school buildings are needed in some cases I believe this money could be better spent on teaching, resources, and providing support for disadvantaged children.
I was impressed that Greenacres Primary have achieved academy status as I believe this will aid 'vertical integration' between primary and secondary schools, enabling students to have a smoother transition between year 6 and year 7. This is very much needed as too many local students go to school with a huge disadvantage – their reading age is well below their actual age. Meaning children as young as two are being left behind on their first day of secondary school.
Academes and free schools across the country are providing 'outstanding' teaching to our children and raising the academic standards across our country to ensure that the next generation of our work force is internationally competitive.
Under this Government head teachers have more autonomy, more flexibility and more freedom to do what they feel best for their school. Including paying teachers based on their teaching ability and performance; rewarding good teachers and getting rid of poor teachers; setting their own school hours and holidays as well as spending priorities. Teachers are best place to make decisions for their pupils and their school and it is this Government which has given the power to head teachers to make these decisions.
Academic standards are improving. A number of academies in Tamworth achieved their best ever results this year, further showing the hard work that both pupils and teachers. Furthermore 78% of schools are now considered good or outstanding. We are starting to see an end to the 'race to the bottom' culture manufactured by Labour with more pupils choosing to take more traditionally academic subjects and Ebac subjects, giving them a solid platform into their next chosen route of education.
I often visit local schools and talk to children, and welcome them to Westminster, to tell them the importance of democracy and our parliamentary history. Educating our children is vitally important for the future of our country and I will support any proposal that puts the interest of the next generation first.
The Education Department's website provides further information on Government policy.