The Government have recently announced their plan to require all schools to become academies.

This costly top-down reorganisation of schools in England is unnecessary and fails to address the serious problems in our education system under this Government. School budgets face a real terms cut for the first time since the mid 1990s, there are teacher shortages, class sizes are increasing and changes to exams and assessments have caused problems in schools across the country. In Cumbria, funding per pupil has fallen in each year since 2010 and capital funding has fallen by £60 million despite multiple requests to Government for funding. The decision to turn a school into an academy is one which must be taken by the local community and should not be imposed by Government.

I am clear that, in terms of education, my focus will always be on standards rather than structures. As Copeland’s MP I’ve worked and campaigned for local school improvements for eleven years and made it a central part of every personal electoral agenda. I am passionate about the future of every school and academy in our community.