One of my key priorities has been making sure that Swindon delivers high quality education services and support to all of its children, from pre-school through to college and beyond. In the last Parliament, I helped to secure £10 million for Pupil
Premium, extra school funding worth £150 per student, and the construction of two new secondary schools.
Both Justin Tomlinson and I felt that in addition there needed to be a longer term change to the way in which Swindon schools are funded and we continued to campaign for this. I was delighted when the Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan announced in March that the government has started the process of introducing a national funding formula from 2017 to 2018. This will finally bring an end to the unfairness in the system and extend opportunity to every child, no matter where they come from or which school they go to. The announcement also includes protection for the core schools budget. This will be over £40 billion next year, including the pupil premium - funding worth £2.5 billion a year targeted at the most disadvantaged pupils. This is the highest ever level of funding for schools of any government, which is excellent news for students both here in Swindon and across the country.
In January 2013, I was delighted to be awarded the Grassroots Diplomat Policy Driver Award for my campaigning work on Special Educational Needs both locally and nationally. I will continue to work to help children and young people with SEN in Swindon and nationally.
Around 4,440 apprenticeships have been created in South Swindon since 2010, helping young people gain the skills they need to get on in life, and the Government has invested over £11.7 million in creating new school places. Test scores and GCSE results have soared over the past five years, and we can all look forward to a bright future for our children.