General Election: Weston-super-Mare's candidates' views on… education
PUBLISHED: 16:00 24 May 2017 | UPDATED: 17:37 06 June 2017
Education remains a hot topic in this General Election, with questions surrounding the future of exams, grammar schools and funding. We asked Weston-super-Mare's candidates for what changes they would campaign for, and how they see the future of education.
Labour Party candidate Tim Taylor
“I am committed to fighting and reversing planned Tory government cuts to school funding, which will cause huge damage at a time when they already face higher overheads.
“The cuts will reduce real terms funding by £10 million across North Somerset by 2019 and teacher numbers.
“There is also financial pressure on local preschool nurseries, with two closing this summer.
“Labour’s policy is to increase funding to schools. Education is an investment in Britain’s future.”
Green Party candidate Suneil Basu
“For decades, education has been used as a political football, with government always ready to blame the teachers for failing to provide the right sort of training for our young.
“The current curriculum is too narrow, there is not a realistic choice for young people pursuing a nonacademic careers.
“Britain’s education system is being readied for privatisation.
“As a Green MP I would vote to reintroduce grants and abolish tuition fees and do away with SATs and league tables.”
Liberal Democrat candidate Mike Bell
“North Somerset has some of the best schools in the country, and together our teachers, governors, parents and pupils are working very hard to keep it that way.
“The Conservatives plan to cut local school funding by more than £10million.
“That means fewer teachers, bigger classes, poorer equipment and uncertain futures. As your MP I will fight against that ever happening.
“Every Lib Dem vote sends a clear message to Theresa May: hands off our children’s education.”
UKIP candidate Helen Hims
“UKIP believes in an education system which works for every child regardless of their social background or academic ability.
“Weston already leads the way in post-16 education in the South West, with our superb Weston College providing everything from apprenticeships to degrees.
“UKIP would complement and support this, by offering a wide range of secondary education including vocational, specialist and grammar schools.
“We would dramatically ease teachers’ workloads by cutting down on assessments, data collection and appraisals and scrap performance-related pay.”
Conservative candidate John Penrose
“Most local schools are now rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, and Weston College’s growth is turning us into a buzzing university town too.
“But local pupils get less funding than children at similar schools in Bristol, studying the same subjects.
“That isn’t right, which is why I’ve been arguing for a new, fairer system for years.
“I’m delighted Ministers have pledged to introduce it, but there’s a long way to go before their draft proposals are right.”