Fairer Rural Schools Funding and Support

Mid Norfolk is home to dozens of much loved schools that play a vital role in our local communities.

As we know however, rural schools have higher costs compared to those in urban areas and, for decades, were very often underfunded in comparison to their urban counterparts. They also face a wide variety of different, acute challenges compared to urban schools that need different solutions and support.

That’s why, throughout my time as the local MP, I have been one of our local education sector’s biggest advocates (especially with regards to SEND support in our mainstream and specialist schools – see more on my campaign page here). I have always made a point of regularly visiting local schools as part of my programme of Mid Norfolk constituency visits, as well as maintaining frequent and open dialogue with headteachers, staff and governors in order to best speak up on their behalf and provide support.

It's also why I have so actively lobbied in Westminster over the years for greater funding, support and resources to ensure schools in rural areas like Mid Norfolk are not left behind – instead receiving the assistance they require to ensure our local youngsters, whatever their background, get the education and opportunities they need and deserve.

Back in 2010, there was a widespread appreciation that, after over a decade of Labour Government, the country needed to tighten its belts and work hard to erase the deficit (the highest in the United Kingdom’s peacetime history) and begin reducing the national debt.

Over the past thirteen years, I have been struck by how many local teachers, heads, governors and parents shared that appreciation and urgency – and I have watched with great admiration as rural schools in Mid Norfolk have worked tirelessly to deliver “more for less”. Rarely, if ever, have they complained of the greater financial constraints within which they have had to operate during this time.

I am acutely aware however that rising costs and pressures over the past couple of years are presenting a very significant challenge to many schools in our area – compounded by challenges with SEND provision and the demands placed upon them by OFSTED.

It’s for that reason why I continue to campaign hard for greater support and funding for rural schools, and why I also continue to place great importance on my engagement with local staff.

On this campaign page, you will find more information on my historic and ongoing campaign efforts – with regular updates being posted.

Rest assured, I am determined to speak up on behalf of our local Mid Norfolk schools to ensure their voices are being heard at the highest levels.

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