23 AUG 2018

GCSE Results

A couple of weeks ago I empathised with parents and students ahead of the A-level results, and I do so again today as the GCSE results are released.

Right across Maidstone and the Weald, thousands of 16-year-olds (and their families) will be experiencing that stomach-churning feeling as they open their envelopes. Some will feel relief and the joy of achievement, but inevitably there will be those who are disappointed. To them I would say 'don't panic!', talk to your family and teachers, because there's always more than one way to cook an egg.

I know that many students receiving results today will wish to thank all of those who have supported them on their journeys, but the contribution that teachers bring to the success of their students cannot be overstated. They anxiously cradle the hopes and aspirations of their pupils as the fruits of their labour are harvested for another year, and I know there will be much emotion between them on this day.

Job fulfilment has always been an important aspect of the teaching profession and this year I was pleased to see it underwritten by a 3.5% pay increase from 2019, after a tough period of austerity. The Government has also pledged to reduce workloads, providing teachers with more time to focus on teaching, which is where they can make the biggest difference.

Whilst there are always challenges in our educational system, there is plenty of good news out there; Locally we are fortunate to have 35 good or outstanding schools across Maidstone and the Weald; Nationally there are 1.9 million more children across the country attending good or outstanding schools than in 2010, and the government clearly recognises the need to continue this trend with school funding £2.6 billion higher in 2019-20 than in 2017-18. Rest assured I will continue to support funding bids from our local schools, to ensure we get our share.

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Helen's column

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