rory_youngcumbriaThe biggest challenges facing our schools in Penrith and The Border are those of distance and sparsity. We have the country’s smallest secondary school and its smallest sixth form college. The threat of closure is ever present for many of Cumbria’s smallest and most rural primary and secondary schools. We must do all we can to protect our schools: they form the life and heart of every village.

My colleagues and I have lobbied the Education Minister strongly to ensure the National School Funding formula recognises the unique needs of our rural schools, and provides them with additional financial support. I have worked closely with head-teachers and Cumbria County Council to establish a fair allocation of resources in Cumbria, favouring our smaller schools.

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Iranian Girls

First Published in Prospect Magazine   They are not free because their minds are not free,” said the headmistress, introducing me to my first class. “You are not here only to teach them English, you are here to open their minds.” Ten women were seated around a table in the over-heated room. All except two […]

olympic ‘school games’

Rory is calling on all schools in Penrith and the Border to sign up to the School Games programme, which aims to boost the existing network of school sports to create a year-round calendar of competition for pupils of all abilities in the lead up to next year’s Olympic Games. The inaugural national finals will […]


high hesket ce primary school

Rory  last week welcomed children from High Hesket CE Primary School to Parliament where they won a prestigious parliamentary prize for their work on the internet. The five pupils received the £1,200 prize, on the behalf of their class, having been the Regional Winners in the North-West section of the Make IT Happy competition. Make […]


partnership in outdoor learning

Rory visited Low Luckens Organic Resource Centre on Friday and called for closer partnerships between farms, schools, colleges and the voluntary sector on outdoor learning. Low Luckens, an industrial and provident society founded in 2000, educates the public in wildlife, renewable energy, sustainable farming and nature conservation. Rory visited the organic farm and its associated […]


‘make it happy’ primary school competition

Rory has written to over sixty primary schools in his constituency to encourage them to enter the 2011 Make IT Happy competition, the theme of which is ‘Pass IT On’. This year schools across Britain are being challenged to demonstrate how they have used technology to connect schoolchildren with others in their community – whether down […]

rory urges council to listen to parents in primary school debate

Rory has issued a statement in relation to the ongoing consultation at High Hesket and Armathwaite primary schools, and will attempt to broker a better level of communication between parents, teachers and local authority representatives. He said: “Having met with a number of parents and teachers in the past weeks I can see that this […]


appleby grammar school

Rory visited Appleby Grammar School to meet Head Teacher Andrew Lund, school governors, staff and of course students. Rory discussed a variety of issues connected with the Grammar School – which has an ‘A’ level pass rate of 95% and a GCSE 5+ A*-C rate of 81.4% – and was given an overview of the […]

william howard school, brampton

I am campaigning hard in support of the Head Teacher and Governors of William Howard School to become an academy, and have used a meeting with Michael Gove to press to make an exception for this fantastic school. The latest Ofsted report in July 2009 reported that the school was ‘good’ in all areas, and […]

school councils of north eden

 COUNCIL LEADERS OPEN NORTH EDEN SCHOOL COUNCILS DEBATE Rory opened the School Councils of North Eden (SCoNE) debate at the Town Hall in Penrith on Friday 8 October, meeting students and teachers of schools from Calthwaite, Greystoke, Langwathby, Lazonby, High Hesket, Kirkoswald, Patterdale, Penruddock, Plumpton, Skelton and Stainton and joining Chairman of Eden District Council […]