Education is the best investment we can make. You may have seen my recent speeches in the House of Commons where I raised the importance that access to a good education has on improving life chances.
We need to ensure our schools and colleges are at the highest standards and are well funded. Since 2010 the Government have managed to make significant progress and now 85 per cent of schools are rated good or outstanding compared to just 68 per cent when they took office.
In Chichester we outperform this national average. Chichester High School is a great example, they recently celebrated a ‘good’ rating from Ofsted across all areas apart from sixth form where they were judged outstanding – the highest rating. This is a well-deserved result!
We also beat the national average for attainment at key stage 4 and A-level. These results are because of the fantastic leadership of our local Head Teachers who work collaboratively with one another to share resources and ideas. Most importantly it is down to the Teachers and Teaching Assistants in the classroom, who inspire children from early-years all the way through to secondary and beyond. The confidence they build stays with us for life and we can all point to the teacher that made a real difference. Wednesday (19th) was ‘National Teacher Day’ so I hope whether you are at school, have children in school or possibly grandchildren you know a student who celebrated our fantastic teachers who make such a difference to all our lives.
As your MP I have been to schools up and down the constituency, and I can definitely say it is one of my favourite parts of the job.
I recently visited Portfield Primary School, that has in the past underperformed but in recent years has gone from strength to strength and is now rated good. On my visit I was told about the amazing work being done by the staff there and something called IPEH - Integrated Prevention and Earliest Help service. This team are an incredible resource that work with the school and vulnerable families across multiple agencies to ensure children are safeguarded and in many cases prevent the involvement of social services. This often removes barriers that impact a child’s ability to learn in the classroom.
The work our schools do to support all local children to reach their full potential is vital. We need a skilled generation coming through to take on the challenges of the 21st century and of course, lead happy and fulfilled lives.