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FF4S Campaign

Fairer funding for local schools

In the past, North Somerset schools have had one of the worst Government funding deals in the country. In 2009 we got £138 less education cash per pupil than Bath, £625 less than Bristol, and a whopping £2,628 less than Tower Hamlets in London.

Under the last Labour Government John ran a long campaign, which included taking the issue directly to the door of the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. The work paid off and, in the end, we got an extra £321 per pupil.

Since 2010 the new coalition Government has introduced the ‘pupil premium’, which provides extra cash specifically for students from less-well-off backgrounds. For example in 2012 it brought in an extra £600 for every child who has been on Free School Meals in the last six years. John is a big fan of the idea, because it’s starting to iron out the old, unfair funding gaps and targets the money where it’s needed most.

So local pupils are getting a fairer deal now, even though the gap hasn’t gone entirely yet. And lots of other changes are being introduced as well. For example, in 2011 we got an increase of almost a quarter in our capital grant to spend on improving school buildings and equipment; four local secondary schools are now academies; and everyone (including Weston College where John is proud to have been a Governor for many years) is delivering some brilliant recent GCSE and A-Level results which bucked the national trend by rising strongly.

So we’ve come a long way, but there’s more to do. John has pledged to keep fighting for fairer funding until the gap is closed, so students at schools in Weston, Worle and the Villages get the same chances as pupils in other parts of the country.

Updates



Mercury Article: Weston should be proud of huge improvements in local schools

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Any parent, wherever or whoever they are, wants a good education for their children. In today’s global ‘knowledge economy’ it’s what’s between your ears that matters most. And if we get it wrong, there’s an ever-growing crowd of highly-skilled people from India, Brazil or China who will happily do a lot of jobs online, from the other side of the world.

 

MP Visits Bournville School to see award winning work first hand

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Bournville school have written a short report following John's visit to see some of the excellent work they've being doing that resulted in an SSAT Educational Outcomes Award.

 

Weston Mercury Column: Weston College invites Weston's MP to mix some cocktails

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In his fortnightly column for The Weston Mercury, John discusses his visit to Weston College as part of Adult Learners week. His trip sees him in the catering department spending some time with the trainee chefs and learning to mix cocktails...

 

MP proves a dab hand in Weston College kitchen

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Weston MP John Penrose proved himself a dab hand in the kitchen when he visited Weston College's catering department as part of Adult Learners' Week.

 

College's Apprenticeship success ‘excellent’ says MP

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John Penrose has praised initiatives led by Weston College that have seen the number of apprenticeships available to young people in Weston and North Somerset grow rapidly.

 
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