James Duddridge's Southend Standard column: Friday 25th October 2019.
"All children deserve access to a superb education so they can reach their full potential – regardless of where they grow up or where they go to school. A good school will set a child on the right path for life, and in Southend we have both fantastic teachers and fantastic schools.
Earlier this year it was confirmed that secondary schools in the borough performed above the national average in their GCSE results – placing Southend 10th in the country compared to other local authorities.
There is also a higher number of children from Southend gaining places at the borough’s award-winning grammar schools. More than half of Year 7 pupils who started at a Southend grammar school last month lived within the borough, up 12 per cent from 2017.
It is important that we continue to raise the standards and build an education system that gives every child the chance to succeed in life, which is why I am delighted that the Government has announced an extra £14 billion investment in schools – benefiting every pupil here in Rochford and Southend East.
This cash increase, which is the largest in a generation, means that on average primary schools in the constituency will receive £4,303 per pupil next year, while secondary schools will rise to £5,742 per pupil – taking the total funding for all schools in Rochford and Southend East to over £62 million.
I care about ensuring every child has access to the education they need, so I am pleased this additional investment also includes an increase of £700 million for children with special educational needs and disabilities, so that nobody is held back from achieving their potential.
I hope you join me in welcoming this cash boost, which will make sure youngsters receive a world-class education, giving them the skills and knowledge they need to get on in life for generations to come."