Pershore’s MP Harriett Baldwin writes for the Observer
WE ARE approaching the end of an unprecedented academic year and I want to say thank you to teachers, parents and pupils who have shown such resilience dealing with challenges of continuing schooling during a pandemic.
We all hope that, thanks to the extensive vaccination programme, we’ll have a much more normal year next year and I encourage everybody over 18 to get a jab as soon as possible.
While our focus has understandably been elsewhere, there has been important funding news for schools this year. Education funding was boosted this year by £2.2billion funding with every secondary school receiving £5,150 per pupil and every primary school receiving £4,000 per pupil.
And locally I was delighted to hear that Malvern Parish Primary School will get the much needed funding for its new replacement windows – a campaign I have been lobbying Ministers about for nearly two years. Four other West Worcestershire schools benefitted from the annual Condition Improvement Fund which is this year worth £483million to help schools with urgent repair projects.
I’ve been disappointed at the way Warwickshire College Group has tried to sell off Malvern Hills College to property developers and I’m pleased that the community has come forward to offer a fair price and help to preserve teaching and teaching jobs in the heart of Malvern. There is a Covenant in place on the site which says just that. I hope that wise heads prevail and that Malvern Hills College can enjoy a renaissance on the site.
It is clear to me that, as we recover from the pandemic, our focus must be on helping people of all ages to improve their skills as we look to build back better.
I’ve been talking to teachers about which year groups will need extra support as we try to catch up their education and £1billion has been earmarked to support those who need the most help with tutoring packages.
And I hope teachers, parents and pupils are able to have a good summer break and re-charge the batteries and wish everyone moving schools, going to university or taking a job or apprenticeship all the very best.