November 2020: News from your local MP

October 27 2020

We need to give children the best start in life

THIS month I am writing this column jointly with my colleague and neighbouring MP, for Thornbury and Yate, Luke Hall.
As local members of Parliament, each representing half of the Lyde Green community, we are absolutely determined to ensure that education provision keeps up with the rate of this new area’s growth. In recent months, we have been ramping up our campaigning efforts.
We met the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson MP, to champion the need for a new school to serve the growing Lyde Green community and to support South Gloucestershire Council’s bid to secure the necessary government funding.
It was exciting to see the council begin consultation this summer on the design for the new ‘all-through’ Lyde Green School, which will have a 420-pupil primary phase and a 900-pupil secondary phase, aiming to take its first pupils in 2022.
The school facilities, including its sports pitches, will be available for community use outside of school hours. The new buildings will also be constructed to high environmental standards that seek to minimise carbon emissions.
Most recently, we were able to secure a Parliamentary debate on the same subject – with the Schools Minister Nick Gibb MP agreeing that there is “an increasing need for places for secondary school-age pupils in this part of South Gloucestershire”.
We are expecting any decisions from government later this term.
We have also been pleased to showcase South Gloucestershire Council’s trailblazing ‘Recovery Curriculum’,  designed to help all students returning to school after the disruption of the past few months to get back into learning.
Finally this month, we have welcomed the council’s investment to improve school buildings – 17 improvement projects have been carried out over recent weeks.
Projects already completed include roof repairs at Courtney School in Kingswood. The Ridge Juniors in Yate, Iron Acton Primary and St Barnabas Primary’s extension in North Common have all had new boilers fitted.
Other notable projects include the re-roofing of Barley Close Primary School and improvements at Chipping Sodbury School.
This is all about helping to provide the learning environments and support that will inspire local children and give them the best possible start in life.