Matt Warman MP hosted the first Boston and Skegness Constituency Schools’ Conference this week at William Lovell Church of England Academy in Stickney. Speakers included the Regional Schools Commissioner Jennifer Bexon Smith, Dr Stephen Hopkins, National Leader of Governance and Councillor Patricia Bradwell, Deputy Leader of Lincolnshire County Council.
Matt Warman opened the Conference with a statement from the Rt Hon Justine Greening MP, the Secretary of State for Education, which said:
‘This government is determined to make this a country that works for everyone, and as you know education is at the heart of this ambition. The knowledge, experience and expertise of the people involved in our education system at local level is absolutely crucial to making it possible for all children and young people to go as far as their talents will take them, wherever they are growing up. I hope that the event is a huge success, and that you will be able to share some of the outcomes with me.’
Following presentations covering governance, the current educational landscape and the proposed new National Funding Formula, Matt chaired a Q&A session with the panel, which was joined by Heather Sandy, Assistant Director of Children’s Services for Lincolnshire County Council. Addressing the question of school funding Cllr Bradwell said “We must ensure school budgets deliver adequate full time education in appropriate class sizes. I will continue to lobby, with Matt and our other Lincolnshire MPs, to get our schools a better deal.”
The discussion was lively, and ranged from school I.T to teacher recruitment and retention.
Speaking after the event Matt said, “Part of the reason I was so keen to hold this conference was to say Thank You to the dedicated professional school leaders and committed volunteer governors who do so much to ensure every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential.
“It was also an innovative way to bring schools across the constituency together to gather feedback on current opportunities and challenges, and to ensure we have a united voice on issues such as the National Funding Formula which should, if we get it right, provide an unprecedented chance for Lincolnshire’s schools to benefit from a fairer settlement. I will be taking the Education Secretary up on her offer to share the outcomes of the conference, one of which will be the unequivocal message that Lincolnshire must be rewarded for its historic ability to deliver great outcomes on small budgets, by being given the opportunity to do more with more, not by further budget cuts.
“I am heartened that the proposals see many schools in my constituency gain funding but I believe the plans could be made even better by slightly altering the formula to distribute the money very slightly differently so that no school in our area loses out.”