Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border, highlighted the great work being done in the local education sector when he secured a visit from a senior Government Education Minister.
Robert Halfon, the Minister for Skills, Further and Higher Education, visited Ullswater Community College, Penrith, where staff and students shone a light on the varied pathways and opportunities made available to youngsters as they take their next steps. Dr Hudson has long championed UCC, from helping securing central funding to redevelop the school to making sure young people aren’t hamstrung by challenging transport links.
Formal discussions ranged from looking at the potential locally to bolster land-based education provision to the support Government can give in cutting the red tape that surrounds apprenticeships.
The Penrith MP and UCC Headteacher were keen to highlight the differences in accessing education in rural Cumbria than other parts of the country. On this, Dr Hudson has already helped secure buses and bursaries to get 16–18-year-olds on to the next step who would have otherwise struggled to get to colleges and schools due to challenging rural connectivity.
Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border, said:
“This was a real shot in the arm for our local Ullswater Community College and cemented their place on the education map. I’ve seen the amazing work UCC does for young people throughout our communities first-hand and the Minister’s commitment to visit today is a testament to that.
“I was also heartened that the Minister really listened to concerns locally surrounding challenging transport links for education and training. Moreover, his ideas to get more employers on board with apprenticeships so youngsters can gain qualifications and income at the same time, was really positive.
“Thanks once again to Robert Halfon for making time in his busy schedule to engage with our school and our young people; and thanks also to Stephen Gilby, the Headteacher at UCC, and his team for the excellent education they provide for the young folk of our communities.”
The visit follows the recent announcement that UCC, through Dr Hudson’s efforts, was named as one of the schools locally, along with Samuel King’s School in Alston that will receive investment under the Conservative Government’s School Rebuilding Programme.