I am looking forward to a few days off, spending time with my family and recharging my batteries before the start of the new session of Parliament. Curling up with a good book to read will certainly be part of my plans. A simple pleasure I have enjoyed since childhood and one, with varying tastes, my family share.
Last week, I was pleased to see so many local young people doing so well in their exam results. Reading and writing well is not only enjoyable. These skills are important for life and are also vital in securing good employment opportunities.
Before I was elected in 2010, I joined Falmouth Rotarians in a local primary school, where each week a team of volunteers supported teachers by listening to their pupils read. It was enjoyable for all concerned. It also helped improve the pupils’ confidence and ability to read. From talking to the youngsters I read with, I was dismayed how many never had the chance to read at home or visited the local Library.
The last government focussed on improving educational attainment in English and Maths and this Government is pushing ahead to make significant progress. The aim is to ensure every child is enabled to achieve their best at school.
Results are moving in the right direction. In 2010, the number of pupils achieving GCSE A* – C in English was 64.7%, compared to 65.4% in 2015. In 2010, the number of pupils achieving A* – C in Mathematics was 58.4%, compared to 63.3% in 2015. Over the past five years, much work has been done, especially in the early years, so I am confident that we will see much greater progress each and every year.
More investment is going into teaching. This One Nation government is delivering on commitments made in May, with the Chancellor last week announcing his intention to make real progress in closing the unfair funding gap for pupils in rural England.