Welcome to the Graham Stuart MP for Beverley and Holderness

Posts Tagged ‘Education’

Graham Stuart leads the charge for fairer school funding

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart today led a major Parliamentary briefing to make the case for fairer school funding to the Minister, Sam Gyimah MP, at which the Minister confirmed the Government intends to deliver major reform in this area over the course of this Parliament.

The meeting, chaired by Graham in his capacity as the Conservative Vice Chairman of the f40 Group, was attended by dozens of MPs and their staff on a cross-party basis. Following a presentation from f40 Chairman Councillor Ivan Ould, officials from the f40 Group set out the case for a fairer school funding settlement in detail, highlighting research showing that the ten best funded areas on average received grants of £6,300 per pupil this year, compared with an average of just £4,200 per pupil in the ten most poorly funded areas.

Graham emphasised to both the Conservative and Labour MPs who attended how important it is that progress is made on this issue, and set out a campaign plan including a coordinated programme of Parliamentary petitions to raise the profile of the issue. His call for action was echoed by MPs from across the country.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Education and Childcare Sam Gyimah told the meeting that the Government is determined to deliver its manifesto promise to create a fairer school funding settlement and encouraged f40 MPs to keep up the pressure for change.

Graham with Education Minister Sam Gyimah

Graham with Education Minister Sam Gyimah

Graham Stuart said, “I was delighted that the Minister attended today’s meeting and gave such positive signals that fairer school funding will finally be delivered after a campaign that first started almost two decades ago. Ending the situation where children lose out owing purely to where they live is something I am determined to bring about and it is now an important priority for the Government.

“Winning acceptance from ministers that the current funding situation for schools is unfair and unsustainable has been a big step forward, but we now need to see that goodwill translated into action. Around 60 MPs and their representatives attended today’s meeting, sending a clear message that we are pleased that the Government is listening but also impatient for action on behalf of our constituents.

“I will launch a petition for Fair School Funding across Beverley and Holderness this summer and I hope as many parents and local people will sign up as possible to make our voice heard loud and clear: it’s high time for pupils in East Yorkshire to get the education funding they need and deserve.”

Graham Stuart MP celebrates school sport with pupils at Middleton Primary School

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

Graham Stuart, Member of Parliament for Beverley and Holderness, joined children at Middleton-on-the-Wolds Primary School at the end of National School Sport Week 2015 to celebrate school sports. At their prize ceremony, Graham handed out certificates for those who had completed five hours of sport in the previous week. After watching the children play sport, he spoke to pupils from all age groups on the importance of exercise.

National School Sport Week, delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, is a celebration of PE and school sport, designed to inspire and engage young people in sporting activity. Since its inception in 2009 over 10 million young people and 26,000 schools have taken part, with thousands of events taking place in schools across the country. The theme of the Week this year is ‘Give me 5!’ with schools encouraged to pledge that all their young people will complete at least one hour of physical activity every school day.

To maintain a basic level of health, experts recommend that young people take part in one hour of physical activity every day, yet currently only 21% of boys and 16% of girls meet these guidelines. Evidence shows that taking part in high quality PE has significant positive impacts on young people’s lives, with the UK’s Chief Medical Officer stating that physical activity not only improves physical health and mental well-being, but boosts concentration and builds key social skills.

Graham celebrating with victorious Middleton pupils

Graham celebrating with victorious Middleton pupils

Graham said: “It was a pleasure to visit Middleton Primary School to see the sporting action first hand and hear the pupils’ enthusiasm for sport in their school. National School Sport Week is a great opportunity for young people to try their hand at new sports and to encourage active, healthy lifestyles from an early age. Evidence shows that active children are not only healthier but are able to concentrate better in lessons, and have higher self-esteem and confidence. I hope all the children who took part learnt the benefits of exercise and continue to be involved in sport both at school and later in their adult lives.”

Ali Oliver, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust, said: “At the Youth Sport Trust we believe PE and sport has the power to unlock young people’s potential, helping them to be healthy and happy, succeed in life and contribute to society. It is fantastic to see Graham supporting National School Sport Week 2015 and wonderful to see so many young people taking part in sport at school.”

Breakthrough as Prime Minister confirms extra £390m to close the funding gap for schools will be baselined for future years

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Graham Stuart, Member of Parliament for Beverley and Holderness and Conservative Vice-Chair of the f40 campaign group for fairer educational funding, has said he is “delighted” by the Prime Minister’s response to his question at PMQs today. Mr Cameron confirmed Mr Stuart’s request to commit to incorporate the additional £390 million awarded for England’s lowest funded local authorities in 2015-16 into baseline funding for future years. This is the first time the Government has formally confirmed its manifesto pledge to make this extra funding a permanent part of the school funding settlement.

The current method for allocating school funding is flawed and unfair to pupils in both rural and urban areas. The ten best funded areas average received grants of almost £6,300 per pupil this year, compared to just £4,200 per pupil in the ten most poorly funded areas.

The issue is of particular concern for Mr Stuart as East Riding of Yorkshire Local Authority, which covers Beverley and Holderness, is the lowest funded in the country when it comes to education.

The Conservative Manifesto committed to introduce fairer schools funding as well as to “baseline” the extra £390 million a year awarded to the least well-funded local authorities in 2015-16 into the school funding settlement.

Mr Stuart asked the Prime Minister, “Yesterday the National Audit Office called for the introduction of a fairer funding formula for English schools, so that – I quote – funding is ‘related more closely to pupils’ needs and less affected by where they live’.

“Can he confirm from the Dispatch Box that the additional and very welcome £390 million awarded last year as a first step towards fairer funding will be incorporated into baseline funding for future years?”

In his response, the Prime Minister stated that it is unfair that schools in some areas receive over 50% more funding than schools in others, and pledged that the Government’s manifesto commitments will be observed in full.

Graham added, “I am delighted the Prime Minister has publicly confirmed that the manifesto pledge to baseline the extra £390 million for future years will go ahead.  This is an important breakthrough for poorly funded local authorities and a milestone on the road to fairer funding.”

Chairman of the Education Select Committee welcomes changes to English Baccalaureate Certificates

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Today Graham Stuart welcomed news that the Government had listened to widespread concerns and decided not to move forward with plans to introduce English Baccalaureate Certificates (EBCs) in place of GCSEs in some subjects.

This announcement follows last week’s Education Select Committee report that found the Government had not yet made the case for abolishing GCSEs and replacing them with EBCs.  The report made it clear that a cross-party group of MPs had concerns about the proposed timetable for change and felt the Government was  trying to do too much too fast by introducing a new qualification, requiring a step-change in standards, and altering the way exams are administered all at the same time.

Graham said, “It is great news that the Government has listened to concerns about introducing a new qualification.  This is exactly the way that good public policy gets made.  The best way to have a constructive debate is for the Government to put forth a proposal, like it did on EBCs, have a rigorous discussion, and then change policy in response to the feedback received.

“Michael Gove deserves credit, not criticism, for being willing to listen and develop an educational legacy that can last.  If the previous Government had been willing to do this we could have avoided the issues we had around the Diploma.

“Today’s announcement is an example of the increasing importance and influence Select Committees can have on policy development.  The Secretary of State has listened to the Education Select Committee’s views and I am pleased to see that he will be consulting with the field on the best way to improve accountability in secondary schools as well.”


Schools Minister pressed to give East Riding schools fairer funding

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Graham Stuart MP’s campaign to provide a fairer deal for East Riding schools took another step forward last week when he met with Schools Minister David Laws. He told the Minister that the delivery of education in a sparsely populated rural area with many small primary and secondary schools was necessarily more expensive than in a compact urban setting. He told the Minister that there could be no justification for the position of the East Riding of Yorkshire as one of the lowest funded in the country.

The Minister confirmed to Graham that the Government was committed to a national funding formula which would better reflect the needs of pupils in every area and so improve the fairness of the allocations. He told Graham, however, that this would not be introduced until the next Parliament and would take time after that to come fully into effect so as to minimise disruption to those areas whose allocations would be reduced.


Graham Stuart to host Skills Minister in Beverley this Friday

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Local MP Graham Stuart will be hosting the Department for Education’s Skills Minister, Matthew Hancock, in Beverley on Friday 11th January.

During the visit to East Yorkshire Graham will be showing the Minister the great work that is being done locally to help prepare young people for success in today’s increasingly complex labour market.

During the day they plan to visit both East Riding College and the Humberside Engineering Training Association (HETA).

Graham said, “Now more than ever it is important that we do all we can to prepare our young people for success in the future.  There are many different pathways to a good career and we must make sure that each student has the skills they need.

“The Government has done a lot of good things to support economic growth and get more young people into work such has expanding apprenticeships, establishing University Technical Colleges and studio schools, and promoting more work experience placements.

“These are just some of the reasons we are seeing the highest numbers in employment in our history. In Beverley and Holderness we have unemployment of 4.1%, well below the national average and far less than in the United States or Europe.

“This is all good news, but there is much more to be done and we can’t be complacent. That is why I will continue to do all I can to press the Government to do more to understand and champion rural areas like ours so that we can create more jobs and eradicate the deficit left behind by Labour.”


Education Secretary told,”Let’s build better schools in Beverley and Holderness.”

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Riston CofE Primary SchoolFollowing an invitation from the MP for Beverley and Holderness, Graham Stuart, the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, will visit Beverley tomorrow, Friday 2nd November.  He will meet with Graham and Council leader, Steve Parnaby, to discuss how to accelerate school building improvements in the East Riding.

The issue of how to build and maintain schools cost effectively is critical when government budgets are so tight and following the disaster of Labour’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, which was found to have wasted vast sums on a small number of schools while leaving the wider school estate dilapidated and in disrepair. The East Riding of Yorkshire was given nothing by BSF and now has a serious backlog estimated by the Council at more than £400 million.

Graham said, “We will be able to tell the Secretary of State about the practical, can-do attitude we have in the East Riding and our commitment to delivering value for money, low cost solutions to capital spending in schools.

“The Council has proposals that would allow early work to start on improving our schools, at reasonable cost and to the benefit of local children and their education. Steve and I will be pressing the Secretary of State to hear our pleas, release funding and let us show what we can do when the East Riding is given the chance.


Graham Stuart welcomes Hull teacher to Parliament

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holderness, and Chairman of the Education Select Committee, has welcomed Andrew Nichols, a teacher from East Hull to work in his office during the summer.

Andrew is a participant in the Teach First programme, which works to ensure that all children, regardless of their family income, receive a first class education. It was founded to break the link between low family income and poor educational attainment. It does this by recruiting and training some of the country’s most able and high-achieving graduates to become effective, inspirational teachers in schools in challenging circumstances.

Part of the first group of Teach First teachers to work in Hull, Andrew has just completed his first year of teaching History at Winifred Holtby School.


Minister horses around in East Riding of Yorkshire

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Graham Stuart, Member of Parliament for Beverley and Holderness, welcomed Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning Minister John Hayes to the East Riding of Yorkshire to see how local colleges are improving education and training for young people.

The Minister visited both Bishop Burton College and Hull College, meeting staff and students as well as touring their state of the art facilities.  He was also able to meet young apprentices at Molineux Competition and Livery Yard in Driffield where they undertake horse handling as part of their Level 2 Diploma Equine.

Following the visit arranged by Graham, Mr Hayes said; “In my job, I make all kinds of decisions about future education and skills and it is really important for us to come to colleges to see what is happening outside Westminster to meet the people who teach and learn.”

Graham added “By bringing the Minister for Further Education to the area he was able to see the particular issues that we face locally. We want every student to have a wide-range of available opportunities to improve their education and help them go on to get a well paid job.

“The Minister was very impressed with all of the sites that he visited, and the colleges did a good job of emphasising the importance of policies being developed with both rural and urban students in mind”


Graham Stuart supports national celebration of vocational qualifications

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Graham Stuart, the MP for Beverley and Holderness, is lending his support to the fifth annual VQ Day – a celebration of the millions of people gaining vocational qualifications across the country every year – and encouraging local colleges, schools, businesses and learning providers to get involved.

VQ Day 2012 will be held on Wednesday 20th June to recognise the value of vocational qualifications and celebrate vocational achievement. The day will be marked by events held at colleges, schools, businesses and learning providers across the UK, including award ceremonies and open days. National events will also be held in London, Northern Ireland and Wales.