Following questioning in Parliament from Imran on the Northern Schools Strategy, the Prime Minister failed to clarify the Government’s position on continuing the strategy.
The Northern Schools Strategy was unveiled at the 2016 Budget and proposed a range of measures aimed at improving the level of teaching and education in schools in the North of England, backed by £20 million of funding per year for four years. The implementation of the Strategy is expected to follow recommendations in a report by Sir Nick Weller that is due to be concluded in September.
However following the arrival of a new Prime Minister, Chancellor and Education Secretary, Imran believes that the future of the Strategy and funding could be in doubt, and that the future of children in Bradford and the North would at risk if it was cancelled. Consequently, he has written to the new Education Secretary, Justine Greening after her appointment to seek assurances that the Strategy would not be cancelled.
He also raised the issue at Prime Minister’s Questions by asking the Prime Minister to commit to the continuation of the Strategy, but in her answer to Imran, Theresa May failed to offer outright commitments to the Strategy following Sir Nick Weller’s report and also failed to mention the £20 million funding per year that was set aside by the previous Chancellor.
Speaking on his question and the Prime Minister's response, Imran said:
“The Northern Schools Strategy will be extremely important in improving educational attainment in schools in Bradford and the North of England with £20 million each year committed for Northern Schools, and I broadly welcomed the Strategy when it was announced in March this year.
“However I am extremely concerned that following the arrival of a new Prime Minister and the appointment of a new Cabinet, the Government could cancel the Strategy and deprive it of much-needed funding, and the Prime Minister’s answer to my question to her on the matter did little to ease my concerns about the future of the Strategy.”