MP Bob Seely says he is delighted the Isle of Wight has been identified as an ‘Education Investment Area’ by the Government.
The news was announced today (1 February) by Education Secretary, Nadhim Zahawi, and Minister for Levelling up Communities and Equalities, Kemi Badenoch.
In their announcement, they said they have identified 55 locations in Britain where investment, support and action will be targeted to help children from all backgrounds and areas to succeed at the very highest levels.
The announcement comes as part of the Government’s agenda to improve public services and level up the country ahead of the publication of the Government’s Levelling Up White Paper. Further details will be released soon.
Bob Seely said: “I’m delighted the Isle of Wight has been identified as an Education Investment Area. This is good news for our young people and important for the Island.
“The Island has historically suffered from a lack of investment. I've been making sure that is changing by continually lobbying ministers and highlighting the needs of the Island. Whilst we are technically part of the prosperous South East, our need, frankly, is greater. A critical part of our future success story will be rising educational achievement.
“For too much of the last fifty years the Island has been left behind. I am determined to see that we are ‘levelled up’ and not ‘left behind’.
“This is more evidence that the Government and I are delivering for the Island.”
Education Secretary, Nadhim Zahawi said: “The most valuable resource on the planet is the human resource. Investing in people to get on in life and receive the best possible education is core to the mission of this Government, and we are determined to help people gain the knowledge and skills needed to unleash their potential.
“This White Paper sets out our blueprint for putting skills, schools and families at the heart of levelling up. It focuses on putting great schools in every part of the country, training that sets you up for success in a high-skilled, well-paid career and ensuring no one misses out on opportunities simply because of where they live or their family background.
“Raising our expectations and aspirations for children, as well as creating a high-skilled workforce, will end the brain drain that sees too many people leaving communities in order to succeed. These plans will help create a level playing field and boost the economy, both locally and nationally.”
The Department for Education will offer retention payments in Education Investment Areas to help schools keep the best teachers in the highest priority subjects.
Schools will also be given support to address wider issues such as attendance, where they will be encouraged to join a new pilot programme to tackle the issue.
As announced last year, the Isle of Wight College has also been identified as a site for targeted Government investment that will transform its buildings and facilities for future generations. It is one of sixteen across England set to benefit from the Government’s £1.5 billion FE Capital Transformation Fund which aims to rebuild and transform college estates and create modern, fit-for-purpose spaces that meet the needs of students and the communities they serve.