Support for People with Learning Disabilities

On Friday, I opened a new sensory room, at Mencap Elmbridge, for people with learning disabilities. The money for the facility was raised through a mix of fund-raising, including a generous contribution from Glaxo Smith Kline. Jean Rigden and Veronica Collins are part of a fantastic team, doing inspirational work. It was great to see […]

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Failing our Children

The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) rankings for 15 year olds were released this week. They measure core learning across 57 countries. The results were widely reported in the press. Between 2000 and 2009, Britain has fallen: In maths: from 8th to 28th. In reading: from 7th to 25th. In science: from 4th […]

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Celebrating our Local Schools

Students, parents and teachers in Elmbridge and across Surrey have been celebrating a strong year for GCSE and A-Level results. On Friday, I was invited to attend the annual prize-giving at Notre Dame school in Cobham (below) – and enjoyed being part of their celebrations, after an impressive year of academic, sporting, artistic and musical […]

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Campaign to Save NSPCC Surrey branch

I have written the following open letter to Andrew Flanagan, Chief Executive of the NSPCC: Dear Mr Flanagan CLOSURE OF SURREY BRANCH OF THE NSPCC I am writing in relation to the planned closure of the Surrey Branch of the NSPCC in Leatherhead. I have spoken to Julie Cole, NSPCC Regional head of Services in […]

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BBC School Report – Hinchley Wood

The BBC promote a project called ‘School Report’, which encourages young students to get involved in journalism. Each year, the BBC invite students across the country to produce a news report covering a range of issues that matter to them. Since we are in an election year, Hinchley Wood School invited me to participate in […]

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Government Vetoes New Schools for Surrey

In a letter sent on 8 March to Ian Taylor MP, Schools Minister Vernon Coaker confirmed that the government has rejected Surrey’s application to join the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) Program in 2009/10. BSF was designed to invest billions across the country to modernise schools for over 3 million secondary school pupils. Once […]

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Parent Power, Student Views

I am in the process of visiting as many schools and colleges as I can across Elmbridge – and will be raising a range of educational issues with Surrey County Council later in the month. If you have a concern or issue about primary or secondary schools in Elmbridge, please drop me a line. On […]

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School Places – a Burning Issue in Elmbridge

The issue local residents have raised with me most consistently over the last few weeks is school places. Parents across Elmbridge are growing increasingly frustrated. Whilst there are challenges for some primaries, the burning issue is the capacity of local secondaries. I was lucky enough to go to a grammar school. I owe everything to […]

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