Education

Supporting local schools and ensuring our young people have the best possible start in life.

 With pupils and teachers from Falkland Primary School celebrating the arrival of their new equipment from the Sainsbury’s Active Kids programme.

As a parent and a Trustee of Mary Hare School for deaf children, I understand the pressures placed upon our young people and also those placed upon parents trying to ensure the best for their children.

I was therefore delighted to see the new figures from Ofsted which show that nine more schools in West Berkshire have been judged good or outstanding in their most recent inspection compared to 2015, which means that 70 of our local schools are now rated in those top two categories. In total, 13 schools in West Berkshire were rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted at their last inspection, and 57 were rated ‘Good’. None were rated ‘Inadequate’. This means 22,100 pupils in the area attend schools that are rated good or outstanding (out of a total of 25,700 in Ofsted-rated schools). That is 22,100 children with improved life chances.

Across the country the proportion of all schools judged to be good or outstanding at their most recent inspection was 89 per cent – the highest proportion ever recorded – with both the proportion of primary and secondary schools judged at these ratings continuing to rise in every region of the country. As a result almost 1.8 million more children are now in good schools compared to 2010.

Much has been said about the proposal to increase the number of grammar schools but this should be seen in the context of the Government’s extensive plans to make more good school places available and to harness the resources and expertise of universities, independent and faith schools. I fully support the aim to make sure every child can access high quality education, so that they have the opportunity to go as far as their talents will take them, regardless of their background.

Apprenticeships

Over 4,000 new apprenticeships have been created in West Berkshire since 2010 and the Government has committed to a further 3 million across the country by 2020. Apprenticeships give young people the chance to get the skills that they need to get on in life and I congratulate every college and business locally that has taken on an apprentice. Over the past few months I have visited David Wilson Homes, Hitachi Capital, British Gas' Training Academy in Thatcham and AWE's Skills Academy and have seen firsthand how young people there are being trained and mentored to a high standard, equipping them for a future in work.

Latest Blogs

'This sitting is now suspended'

These words from the Deputy Speaker, Lindsay Hoyle, were the first indication that something was wrong in Parliament. They came during a division, a vote in Parliamentary terms. I had just hurried back from a meeting a few blocks from Parliament and must have missed the attack by about four minutes. What then followed was for me, not a lot. We were sealed in the Chamber and what is called the Members Lobby while police and others ran around checking to see if the attacker had any accomplices in the building. At one point a man in civilian clothes, body armour and a ski mask carrying an automatic weapon ran up to one of the doors to the Members Lobby. Finding it locked he splintered the door plate with one kick. Later I asked one of the badged messengers (usually ex-military types who manage and protect the workings of Parliament), about this and he replied, ‘all he had to do was knock’...

Westminster diary

On Monday I attended the All Party Group on Park Homes. I have hundreds of constituents who choose to live in Park Homes and many of them do so with a good relationship with the Park owner. Sadly, some do not. Much has been done in recent years to make law tougher on rogue Park owners but there are still changes I want to see...

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More Information

Richard Benyon was re-elected as the Member of Parliament for Newbury on 7 May 2015, with an increased majority of 26,368. Richard won 61 per cent of the vote share.

 

 

If you would like to join the Conservative Party or just find out more, please visit West Berkshire Conservative Association’s website http://www.wbca.org.uk/membership or alternatively e-mail office@wbca.org.uk.

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