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My opinion on 'partygate', levelling up and fuel prices – Bury St Edmunds MP Jo Churchill

Many constituents have written to me about their anger and frustration at the current situation regarding Downing Street.

Like them, I followed the rules at all times and in good faith. I have made these views very clear to the Prime Minister. I have read the Sue Gray report, aspects of which are concerning; however, I do not believe it is appropriate for me to comment further ahead of the Met Police investigation.

My focus remains on supporting the people of the Bury St Edmunds constituency and helping deliver on our priorities to improve people’s lives.

Jo Churchill, MP for Bury St Edmunds
Jo Churchill, MP for Bury St Edmunds

One of those priorities is improving the standards of education in Suffolk, which is something I have long campaigned for.

Across our county Ofsted ratings and school results are varied, with many falling below the national average. Whilst we have some good teachers and school leaders, we can often struggle to keep hold of them or attract them to our schools in the first place.

We also have a long way to go to deliver the SEND education in Suffolk that children deserve.

This week’s release of the government’s white paper on levelling up has given Suffolk a number of great opportunities. Suffolk has been designated an Education Investment Area, receiving extra support to help young people access the best possible education and gain the skills and knowledge needed to unleash their potential.

I was last with the Minister for Schools and the Regional Schools Commissioner a few weeks ago, yet again making the case for improvements and investment in our children’s education in Suffolk.

A key goal set out is to ensure that 90 per cent of children leaving primary school in England are reaching the expected standard in reading, writing, and maths by 2030. In 2019, just 65 per cent of pupils met all three standards, with the proportion substantially varying across the country and across schools.

Education Investment Areas will also be prioritised for new specialist sixth form free schools – ensuring that talented young people from every background have access to the learning they need to progress into training or higher education. Schools will also be eligible for retention payments to help maintain the best teachers in high priority subjects and will be able to access a new pilot programme to improve pupil attendance.

This white paper sets out our blueprint for putting skills, schools and families at the heart of levelling up. Putting great schools in every part of the country, training that sets you up for success in a high-skilled, well-paid career and ensuring no one misses out on opportunities simply because of where they live or their family background.

However, we face other challenges and as I write this the Chancellor is on his feet in the chamber laying out the support, we are giving families in relation to energy bills. Global events are driving this rise, but rising costs are felt by every family. I will be outlining more details on my website alongside information of support available for those needing help.

I want a Conservative government to be focused on the issues we face, delivering and caring for our communities, creating opportunities for the next generation and tackling issues on the global stage.