COLUMN: Good education is a right, by Gloria De Piero MP

Gloria De Piero MP
Gloria De Piero MP

Last week there was a debate on education and social mobility in Parliament – a subject that I amvery passionate about.

I believe that getting a good education is the right of every child in this country and that opportunities to ‘get on’ in life should be dependent on what you know, not who you know.

But under the Tories, I feel social mobility has stalled and education policy is failing our kids.

I raised in the Commons the fact that in Ashfield last year, 66 per cent of children from disadvantaged backgrounds did not get five A*-C grades including English and maths in their GCSEs.

And that Ashfield is the 13 th lowest constituency out of all 650 in the UK for sending 18-year- olds to university.

These figures are downright scandalous – areas like ours are getting left behind and more needs to be done to help our children fulfil their potential.

MPs’ annual expenses have just been published and I am pleased to say that out of the 11 Nottinghamshire MPs, I was the tenth lowest spender.

I was elected to office after the expenses scandal of 2009 which brought about much-needed changes to the transparency of what politicians claim for in the line of duty.

All details of MPs expenses are now published on the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority website.

I am very aware that every penny we spend is public money and I will never forget that.

A consultation on plans to move the post office in Selston from its current Portland Road to the Pennine Store on Lathkill Dale is underway.

The post office tells me this is part of its major programme of modernisation and will mean that the branch is open for longer and will have improved accessibility as well as offering the majority of products and services as usual.

The consultation is seeking people’s views on how easy it is to get to the new location, whether it’s easy to get inside the premises and how it could be made better.

You can make your views known by visiting and entering the code 30022799.

Lastly, I have been informed about some good news for Ashfield District Council. The authority’s New Cross Support Team recently picked up the Municipal Journal Award for reinventing public services.

The team was set up to provide targeted support to residents in the New Cross area of Sutton. Congratulations to all involved.