I have received many questions and emails about education. Education is one of my main areas of interest. I have three children, including one who has complex disabilities. He is now 21, but when he was 5 (under a Labour Government) I couldn’t get him into school at all. I have been fighting local authorities for his education ever since – in fact, that’s how I first became involved in politics, campaigning for my son, and other families in similar situations.
I have been a legal advisor for a national advice line IPSEA and am very aware of the stresses the education system is now under.
Since 2010 we have been rebuilding the shattered economy left by Labour. That’s required some very difficult decisions on public spending, and meant some schools have not been receiving the funding they require. Now that the economy is back on track, we have more money to spend, and we are able to invest in Education.
We are increasing school funding by £14 billion, lifting funding to a minimum of £5000 per pupil for secondary school pupils and £4000 per primary, by the school year 2021 – 22. I am particularly pleased to see a much needed £700m more for children with SEN (Special Educational Needs), an area in which I am very interested.
We are also planning an increase of £400m in education for 16-19 year olds, which will be particularly welcomed by our own Bath College.
In 2022-23 we will be increasing teachers’ starting salaries to £30,000, and delivering fully-funded increased contributions to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme, so that school leaders don’t need to fund these out of their existing school budgets, and can focus as much of their resources as possible on the front line.
It’s really important in this election is to return a clear Conservative majority so we do not return to the years of reckless spending and rising unemployment as has happened under every single Labour Government.
Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats have ruled out any coalition with the Conservatives, but not ruled out one with Labour. They have already made a pact with the Green Party in Bath, meaning the Green Party candidate had to stand down. They seem to see every issue through the lens of Brexit.
I want to be elected as Bath’s Conservative MP so that I can turn the focus away from the EU, back onto the issues that matter to us here in Bath, and ensure that Bath gets its needed and fair share of new spending and policy initiatives.