Delivering the best possible education for our children
Thornbury and Yate MP Luke Hall writes for the Voice
AS pupils across South Gloucestershire return to school, it is now as important as ever that we ensure the best possible standard of education is awaiting them.
To do this, we need to ensure local schools receive the right level of funding, both for students' actual education and for the repair and renewal of school buildings, in towns like Yate and Thornbury, and in the rural village schools who are often working from old buildings and need that extra investment.
Many pupils and parents have felt that we needed a better deal on school funding, and that the Government had to deliver. That is why I created Our Positive Plan for Schools in South Gloucestershire.
This plan is now more important than ever: delivering higher school funding, updating school buildings and facilities, building two new primary schools in Yate, redeveloping Castle School in Thornbury, building a new special school at Marlwood, extending Old Sodbury Primary school, improving special needs provision and ensuring the implementation of £79 million of repairs and upgrades for South Gloucestershire schools.
With your help, and the support of local head teachers, we have made great progress.
First, it has now been announced that our schools are set to benefit from the biggest funding increase in a decade, with every single child in South Gloucestershire schools set to benefit.
We will see big increases: Alexander Hosea Primary will see a funding increase of 8.4%, Oldbury-on-Severn Primary 12.1%, St Johns Mead in Chipping Sodbury of 7% and Woodlands Primary in Yate will benefit from an increase of 7.2%.
All of our secondary schools will see a boost, with Chipping Sodbury students now set to receive £5,559 per pupil, Marlwood £5,544, Brimsham £5,705, the Castle School £5,415 and Yate Academy £5,727, so our secondary schools can deliver the best possible standards in education.
Our campaign for major upgrades to Old Sodbury School has been a success, thanks to a £380,000 investment from South Gloucestershire Council. This has allowed work to begin over the summer for a brand new reception class, toilets and staff facilities, which will be in place to be used by the children joining in September.
Local students attending SGS Filton College will benefit from an investment of £1,134,567 to repair and refurbish their campus. These cash investments form part of a major investment in our schools and colleges over the next five years.
As pupils start to return to schools, we will make sure the right standard of education is awaiting them: more funding and more investment in the buildings and facilities to deliver a top-flight education.
To all parents, pupils and teachers: thank you for everything you are doing to ensure the safe return to our excellent local schools.