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 Conservative Party website outlines its polices for schools here and universities here. For "Facts on Fees" go here and to keep up to date with the Department for Education please click here

The Education Department's website provides further information on Government policy.

22 JUL 2014

Christopher Pincher backs vocational qualifications in Tamworth

Christopher Pincher, Member of Parliament for Tamworth and surrounding villages, spoke up for the continued improvement of our vocational education and training in Tamworth. Mr Pincher reaffirmed the need to "focus anew on vocational...

19 JUN 2014

Christopher Pincher encourages further apprenticeship placements

Christopher Pincher, Member of Parliament for Tamworth and surrounding villages, welcomed the news of 450 new apprentice placements in Tamworth, up from 390 in the previous year. Commenting Mr Pincher said: "We know that University is not for...

18 MAR 2014

Christopher Pincher calls for a debate on science and technology skilling

Christopher Pincher, Member of Parliament for Tamworth and surrounding villages, has called for a debate on science and technology skilling as his own research has found that 35% of businesses polled across the Tamworth constituency are concerned...

Funding for Tamworth Schools

I am calling on the support of Tamworth constituents in a campaign to win further funding for Staffordshire's schools, including our schools in Tamworth. The f40campaign of which I am a member, represents a group of the lowest funded education authorities in England, which historically have been awarded lower settlements due to unintended consequences of the national funding formula employed by successive governments. I believe we all understand that money is not everything when it comes to delivering high quality education. An inspirational teacher and good leadership counts for so much. But, I am sure you will agree, funding is very important to what a school can deliver. I believe that a fairer funding settlement will help with the recruitment and retention of great teachers, which is to everyone's benefit.

Pupils in Staffordshire currently receive £4,303.71 per pupil compared to Wolverhampton where pupils received £4,819.46. I feel this lacks rationale and is unfair. I support schools with a higher number of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds gaining additional funding to help bridge the attainment gap, but I feel this should not be done merely on the basis of a postcode. We must have a simpler funding formula whereby pupils in South East Staffordshire and Tamworth receive their fair share of investment. Every local pupil is entitled to the same amount of time and attention from their teachers as pupils in neighbouring areas. Every pupil should have access to the full national curriculum, extra-curricular activities, up to date resources and equipment along with additional support for special needs.

I have personally raised these concerns with the Secretary of State for Education and with the Schools Minister. But to strengthen that case I am asking my constituents to sign this petition. If you would like to sign, please email the following paragraph (shown in bold text), including your full name and address, to my Parliamentary Researcher

'To the House of Commons. The petition of residents of TAMWORTH, declares that the petitioners believe the existing school funding model in England is arbitrary and unfair; further declares that the ten best funded areas of England have on average received grants of £6,300 per pupil this year, compared to an average of £4,303.71 per pupil in the ten most poorly funded areas of England; and further declares that the petitioners welcome the Government's commitment to introduce fairer school funding. The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons supports the earliest possible introduction of a new National Funding Formula for schools in England. And the petitioners remain.'

This is an opportunity to win substantive change to the benefit of local children's education. I hope that you will be able to support it.


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