Faisal Rashid, MP for Warrington South, recently visited Priestley College.
During the visit Faisal met Principal Matthew Grant to discuss some of the challenges facing sixth form education at the current time. Faisal also heard about the work of the College, including work with Oxford University, and was given a tour.
After the meeting Faisal was invited to join a student forum where he heard from students about their political experiences, including work at the Model United Nations Conference. The forum was followed by a question and answer session.
Faisal was also invited to visit a politics class where he was asked to comment on the hot political topics of the day.
Faisal pledged to have regular meetings with focus groups at the College to discuss current issues, ideas and engage students.
Faisal Rashid MP said:
“I really enjoyed my time at Priestley College. I was very impressed by the students’ interest in politics. They gave me a good grilling about on my work as MP and on my political views.
“It so important to get our young people engaged in politics. They are the future of our country and it is crucial that they are given the tools they need to help make informed political choices, which will affect how our country is run in the future.
“Sixth forms are facing tough times under the Conservative Government. Funding for 16-18-year-old sixth form education has been squeezed, which is resulting in bigger class sizes and teachers under increasing pressure, which in turn is having a long-term impact on their wellbeing. Support for our sixth forms is immensely important, due to the key role that they play in preparing millions of students for the workplace, or for further education.
“Before the Autumn Budget I wrote to the Chancellor to stress that the education of young people, and the sufficient funding of that education, is critical to the Government’s commitment to improving the skills of the UK population, boosting productivity and improving social mobility and given this, I called on him to introduce a £200 per student uplift in funding to improve the education and support offered to sixth form students. I also called on him to conduct a review of sixth form funding to ensure it is linked to the realistic costs of delivering a rounded, high quality curriculum.
“I was deeply disappointed that the Chancellor failed to act on this issue in the Budget. As the MP for Warrington South I will keep pressing the Government for action.”