Improving Education in Havering

I am campaigning for: 

More money for our schools and special needs education

In December 2019 I stood on a manifesto to deliver more cash to our schools, particularly for children with special educational needs, after teachers highlighted ongoing cost pressures on my visits to local primaries and secondaries.

We have now delivered on that promise, with the Education Secretary confirming a second year of increased funding. Mainstream funding for schools in Hornchurch and Upminster has grown by 4.2% overall in 2021-22, delivering a funding boost £93,597,483. Every primary school will now receive at least £4000 per pupil while secondaries will attract at least £5150 a student. The additional investment includes a ten per cent increase in high needs funding next year - some £730m - to help local authorities like Havering Council support children with special education needs and disabilities (SEND), on top of the £780m increase local authorities are receiving in 2020-21.

While the Government has increased school core funding, the Government has also provided a further £560m of Condition Improvement Funds (CIF) this year in addition to the £1.45 billion already provided for school maintenance in 2020-21. Due to this funding, nine schools within Hornchurch and Upminster have received funds to enable them to complete vital maintenance and improvement works.

In addition, Government has committed to a crucial new ten-year rebuilding programme for schools. This will be an ambitious programme, replacing poor condition and ageing school buildings, with modern, energy efficient designs, transforming education for thousands of pupils.

The Department for Education will start next year with those 50 schools in the most need of repair, supported by over £1 billion in capital funding. Full details of those projects will be confirmed in the autumn.

We want every school, no matter their circumstances or location, to have the resources to deliver the high-quality education that all parents expect.

Equipping young people with the skills they need 

I have supported the campaign to increase per-pupil funding for post-16 education to support the efforts of local colleges to train and teach young people the skills they need to access well-paid jobs in the modern economy. I have met frequently with the leaders of our local colleges and lobbied government on their behalf. Together we secured the biggest single funding increase for colleges since 2010. 

The government is also introducing T Levels to improve technical education and put it on a par with academic educational routes. 

Improved links between businesses, schools and policymakers so that our local students can access the best opportunities.

When carrying out school visits my team and I always seek to facilitate greater discussion between schools and local businesses or other stakeholders to maximise opportunities for local students. In February 2020 we hosted our first Jobs & Apprenticeships Fair with local employers and we are planning an online version for this year. In July 2020 the Secretary of State for Education announced that the Government will publish in Autumn a white paper which will outline the Department’s plans to create a German-style further education system in which colleges will play a pivotal role in developing skills in a way that is responsive to the local economy. Colleges are expected to play a significant role in liaising with the local community and businesses within this system.


New Special Educational Needs places for Nelmes Primary

One of the concerns consistently raised with me by local teachers has been over special needs education (SEND) provision, the pressures that this can place upon school budgets and the speed at which SEND assessments can be undertaken.

Forest Approach wins nursery bid to boost social mobility

I was delighted to receive the news from Children's Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, today that Forest Approach Academy (formerly Dycourts) on Harold Hill has been successful in its application to the School Nurseries Capital Fund. 

Upminster Infant and Juniors Visit

This afternoon my team and I visited Upminster Infant and Junior Schools where we met executive head teacher, Miss Edgcombe. and Mr Hobson, Chief Executive of the Hornchurch Academy Trust, of which the schools became a member in September 2017.

Visit to St Joseph's Primary, Upminster

This afternoon my team and I visited St Joseph's Primary School, Upminster, where we met head teacher, Mrs Bernadette Matthews. and Rev. John Tuohy, to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing our local schools.

Visit to Harold Court Primary School

This afternoon my team and I visited Harold Court Primary School where we met head teacher, Mrs Hogan O'Neill. to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing our local schools.

Getting the best deal for our sixth forms

Last week I attended a packed parliamentary debate about the funding of further education colleges to highlight the challenges facing standalone sixth forms like Havering Sixth Form College in my constituency.

Hornchurch & Upminster schools get improvement cash

This morning I received confirmation from Education Minister, Lord Agnew, that a number of bids from our schools for improvement funds have been successful! The Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) received requests for more than 4,500 projects to this year’s round.