Developing Local Schools

Today, I visited Walton Oak School, in Walton, which has just had funding approved for a new Breakfast and After School Club and Nurture room, which will provide a range of opportunities for local pupils and parents. I toured the school with the headteacher and governors, and had a look at the site for the […]

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Standards in Schools

On Thursday, we had a debate on educational performance in Parliament. I raised a number of local issues – pressure on school places, the funding formula – with Schools Minister, Nick Gibb. We also had an interesting wider debate about teaching standards and core learning. I argued that ‘ the recipe for success is not […]

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Horseracing with Esher High

Today, I joined Esher CofE High pupils on a British Horse Racing, Education and Standards Trust (BHEST) program at Sandown Park, which engages children in practical applications of numeracy skills. Amongst the activities put on, the pupils were weighed on the scales used by jockeys and examined the dimensions of the fences. Later, the pupils […]

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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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