We're working hard to build a bright future for Dover and Deal. And everyone knows a vital part of that is supporting our schools. We have some incredibly bright and talented young people in our area. Every single one of them must be given the chance to thrive.
Across Dover and Deal, incredible work is being done by some truly amazing teachers and support staff. Take the inspirational Whitfield and Aspen School, where children with special educational needs mix with youngsters in the mainstream.
I visited Whitfield and Aspen last week to hear about their fantastic outreach programme. Staff go out to nurseries across Dover and Deal and help children who have special educational needs.
One youngster they helped was Darwin Burnett at Kid Ease nursery at the Triangles Centre. His family were really pleased with his progress and wanted him to go on to Whitfield and Aspen School. Yet they were having difficulty securing school transport for him. I was delighted to help out and to persuade Kent County Council to fund his transport. It was brilliant to meet Darwin last week. He really is a charming young lad and it's great to see his confidence growing.
Yet none of this would have happened without Whitfield and Aspen's amazing outreach programme. The school is looking to expand when the new Whitfield development goes ahead – so they can help even more youngsters.
I also visited Goodwin Academy on Friday for the official opening of the school's hugely impressive new £25 million building and facilities. It was great to be shown around by two polite and well-informed pupils, who looked very smart in their new school uniform. We fought a long and hard battle to deliver the new building for the Goodwin Academy. Thanks to everyone's determined efforts, this really is a school transformed. It's so good to see Dover and Deal getting the investment in education we fought for and deserve.
Another school which has undergone a complete transformation in recent years is Dover Christ Church Academy, with brand-new facilities and ever-improving results. While our excellent grammar schools continue to deliver outstanding results.
Lots of people spoke to me about school funding during the General Election campaign. I pressed the Government for action and now our schools are set to get a huge cash boost from the Conservatives' new national funding formula. Kent County Council should introduce the new system next year – boosting secondary school funding by an average of 7.2%, or £1.54 million.
I'm passionate about giving people ladders in life. Schools must give children the support they need to climb as far as their talents can take them. That's why we're fighting for our schools in Dover and Deal. Because no matter where you come from – every child must have the chance to get on in life.
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