Getting a first-class education is key to making sure all children have the best possible start in life and opens up opportunities for their future. In Chelmsford 32 of our schools are rated good or outstanding.
I regularly visit Primary and Secondary Schools and Headteachers across Chelmsford and am always impressed by the hard work of both teachers and pupils. I was delighted to attend the official opening of the new Beaulieu Park School in Chelmsford. The Primary School welcomed its first cohort of pupils last year. The Beaulieu Park School Secondary School will be welcoming it’s first pupils in Year 7 this September. This will be the first Through School in Essex.
I recently led a delegation of eight Essex MPs to a meeting with the Schools Minister, Nick Gibb MP, to press the case for fairer funding for our schools. After the financial crash, the Government ring-fenced and protected many elements of school funding, but a decade later other costs and pressures have increased. This means the balance needs to be re-set. In particular, there is a need for greater support for pupils and students with special educational needs, for post-16 education and for schools in areas of high population growth. I will continue to campaign for fairer school funding.
Apprenticeships appeal to those looking for alternatives to university. They often take a more practical approach to learning and enable students to earn as they learn. By focusing on training for a specific career, young people can learn a trade by actually doing the job. Chelmsford College is one of the leading organisations in Essex supporting young people through apprenticeships and work experience. Last year 650 people started apprenticeships in Chelmsford.
Next year will see the introduction of T Levels in our schools and colleges. T Levels will combine classroom theory with practical learning and an industry placement. A unique part of T Levels will be the industry placement, of at least 315 hours, or approximately 45 days. This will provide students with the opportunity to build the knowledge and skills they need in a workplace environment.
Anglia Ruskin University is rated as one of the top 250 universities in Europe in the Times Higher Education’s University Teaching Rankings 2018, with award-winning learning facilities. They have now opened the brand new Medical School which is the first in Essex.
Anglia Ruskin Students' Union in Chelmsford have done great work supporting mental health. Last year the Student’s Union published it’s “Let’s Be Honest” which raised awareness of student’s mental health and published recommendations for the University to better support students. The University have been working closely with the Student’s Union to follow up on these recommendations.
In 2020, Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford will be hosting the British Science Festival. This will be the first time that the Science Festival has come to Essex. Anglia Ruskin University are working with British Science Association, Essex MPs, Chelmsford City Council, Essex County Council and local businesses to organise this 5-day event.