The Government’s Schools White Paper launched today as the Secretary of State for Education, Nadhim Zahawi, gave a statement to the House of Commons.
During the debate the Member of Parliament for Winchester and Chandler’s Ford, who’s constituency covers many rural villages, raised the plight of small primary schools and the below average funding Hampshire receives compared to other parts of England.
Mr Brine looked for reassurance around CAMHS provision saying he is concerned about access to services because "if children are not in the right place mentally, they can't learn educationally."
And he quizzed the Secretary of State around his concerns and the government’s evidence regarding village primary schools becoming part of larger academy trusts given the White Paper states:
'By 2030, all children will benefit from being taught in a family of schools, with their school in a strong multi academy trust or with plans to join or form one.'
Speaking in the Commons, he added; "I am also concerned about small rural primaries. The heads of such schools in my constituency will take some convincing that being part of a large multi-academy trust is the answer to their problems. Given what the White Paper says about all children being in an academy, can the Secretary of State convince me of why the evidence says that is the answer?"
Mr Zahawi responded; “He's absolutely right to say that, I have similar high performing rural primaries and my message to them is they do an excellent job, if they feel like they want together with other rural primaries then we will support them in setting up a multi-academy trust.
"Or of course where Local Authorities think they do a great job in supporting their schools, they can set the trust. So, what I'm trying to do with the White Paper, is make sure we take everyone with us on this journey because ultimately if we all remember why we are in this fort and that is deliver better outcomes for every child in the place, at the right place at the right time for every child, then we do the right thing.”
The Secretary of State confirmed the long-awaited SEND Green Paper will be published tomorrow, Tuesday 29 March 2022.
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