Adam Afriyie, the MP for Windsor, has welcomed the news from Ofsted that the number of schools graded as good or outstanding in England has reached a new record high.
In Windsor and Maidenhead the number of good or outstanding schools has increased from 47 to 53, a 13% increase on last year. This increase is greater than across the South East of England, in which the number of schools graded by Ofsted as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ has increased to 2,843, an increase of 234 schools, or 9%, compared to 2015.
Across England as a whole the number of good or outstanding schools increased from 17,256 to 18,607. This amounts to 89% of all English schools – the highest proportion ever recorded.
In the Windsor constituency we are well aware of the devastating impact that floods can have on people homes, lives and livelihoods.
Almost every winter the River Thames swells and our flood defences are tested. Three years ago we watched with alarm as the gauges on the Thames reached the highest levels recorded since their introduction as we were hit by serious winter floods.
Across the Thames Valley hundreds of homes were flooded and thousands of sandbags were laid down as emergency barriers.
From Disraeli’s ‘One Nation’ Conservatism in the 19th century through to Harold Macmillan’s post-war housebuilding programme and Margaret Thatcher’s revival of the economy in the 20th century, the Conservative Party has a strong tradition of enabling social mobility.
People might say that I came from a classically disadvantaged background, like so many others, having been brought up by my mother in social housing in South London. Yet I was one of the few fortunate enough to get a good education and make my way in life. This should not be a one-off story; it should be commonplace. The circumstances of a child’s birth should not determine where they end up in life.
So I’m delighted that greater social mobility is the driving mission of this Conservative Government.
The ability to make your way in life is intrinsically linked to the education you receive.
While we are fortunate to live in an area with some of the best schools in the country – from academies like Charters, to free schools like Holyport College and Forest Bridge – the picture is not consistent across the country.
Conservative education reforms have shown promising results over the last six years. The creation of free schools and academies, and the modernisation of the curriculum are raising standards across the board. But there is more to do.
Today, the Windsor MP has welcomed the findings of a key parliamentary committee on airport expansion.
The report raised serious concerns about the ability of Heathrow to stick to legally binding emissions and air quality targets.
The report concluded that the third runway should not go ahead at Heathrow unless the Government could demonstrate how it could fit into the UK’s environmental targets and obligations.
Adam Afriyie, Windsor’s MP, commented:
“This report is yet another nail in the coffin for the case for Heathrow expansion.
“A third runway at goes against the growing body of scientific evidence that Gatwick is the cost-effective and environmentally-friendly option for a new runway if we do not have the foresight to build an offshore airport.
Today, the Government ruled out spending public money for the related costs of Heathrow’s third runway.
If correct, this is a huge blow to Heathrow whose so-called access costs were more than five times those of Gatwick’s proposal.
The surface access costs for Heathrow expansion are estimated at £5 billion by the Airports Commission, although Transport for London had put the predicted figure at £15-20 billion.
In response to a parliamentary question tabled by Conservative MP and prominent Third Runway opponent Adam Afriyie, Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said:
“In terms of surface access proposals, the Government has been clear that it expects the scheme promoter to meet the costs of any surface access proposals that are required as a direct result of airport expansion and from which they will directly benefit.”
Mr Afriyie commented on the announcement, saying:
“It is welcome news that the Government has ruled out paying the costs of upgrading the railways and local roads or moving or tunnelling the M25.
“If Heathrow won’t pay and the Government won’t pay, then the third runway is already dead in the water and it would be foolhardy for the Government to choose Heathrow expansion.