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Minister for Schools Nick Gibb visits the Royal Town

Andrew Mitchell MP arranged for the Schools Minister, Nick Gibb MP, to visit the Royal Town where he met with all of Sutton’s Secondary Headteachers (Neil Warner & Richard Gill - Arthur Terry School; Dominic Robson - Bishop Vesey's Grammar School; Dr Barbara Minards - Sutton Coldfield Grammar School for Girls; Tracy Campbell - Plantsbrook School; Debbie Buns - Fairfax School; Tracey Peters - John Willmott School and John Farrell - Bishop Walsh Roman Catholic School) and a representative group of Primary School Headteachers from throughout the Royal Town. Andrew Cleaves, Chief Executive of Birmingham Metropolitan College also joined the meeting.

At the top of the agenda was school funding but issues such as mental health and the reliability of the grading system was also discussed.

During the meeting, the Headteachers expressed an appreciation for the changes to the original plans for the National Funding Formula for Schools. The new formula increases the amount of school funding going to the Royal Town by an average of 1.2% with Sutton Coldfield Grammar School for Girls set to receive a significant increase of 4.9%.

The Schools Minister, made the point that as a result of this funding boost, school funding will be some £2.6 billion higher in 2019-20 compared to 2017-18.

Speaking after the meeting, Andrew Mitchell MP said: “Sutton Coldfield has some of the best schools in the West Midlands and clearly, investment is needed to continue improving standards and to build on the excellent work our schools are doing for the next generation of Suttonians. While we would welcome even greater additional funding, it is undeniable that this is a great improvement over the previous proposals.”

“I am also encouraged by the constructive and frank discussion on the state of mental health in schools. Half of all mental health problems in the UK have started by the age of 14 and at such a young age, mental health issues can have a lifelong impact and can potentially affect school performance.”

Dominic Robson, Headteacher for Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School, speaking on behalf of the Secondary Heads said: “We were delighted that the Schools' Minister, Nick Gibb MP, took the time out of his busy schedule to meet with Sutton Headteachers last Friday. Schools face very difficult funding decisions over the next few years and we were able to have a very frank and open discussion about this. It was also very pleasing that Mr Gibb clearly recognised the great work that our local schools do for the young people of Sutton Coldfield.

Moreover, we were pleased to see that government are alert to the fact that there needs to be a more joined-up cross departmental approach in Whitehall to supporting young people with their mental health. We look forward to hearing more detail on this issue. A big thank you to our MP, Andrew Mitchell, for his support in organising this very constructive forum.”

Photo: Andrew Mitchell MP and Schools Minister, Nick Gibb MP, meeting with Sutton’s Headteachers in the Royal Town.

Andrew Mitchell MP and Schools Minister, Nick Gibb MP, meeting with Sutton’s Headteachers in the Royal Town

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