Rory Stewart, Parliamentary candidate for Penrith and The Border, met with the headteacher and head of Sixth Form at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School on Friday to hear concerns about funding for rural schools. The QEGS senior management team explained the difficulties and challenges they are facing, and Rory Stewart promised to work with them, and other secondary schools in the local area, to ensure they have the opportunity to meet with senior officials from the Department for Education, and talk through their concerns.

In his first term as MP for the constituency, Rory Stewart lobbied strongly for greater funding support for rural schools, and successfully ensured a sparsity factor was included in the school funding formula, to better support rural Cumbrian communities in particular. Having placed rural services at the heart of his re-election campaign, including trying to find a solution to school transport for 16 – 19 year olds that does not see families having to pay a fee over £350 per year, Rory Stewart has said he hopes he can ‘continue to work alongside Cumbrian schools and communities, to ensure young people can continue to receive an outstanding education in some of the best schools in the country.’

Speaking after his meeting at QEGS, Rory Stewart said:

“QEGS is a truly wonderful school, attracting students from literally all over the world. Teachers and students have every right to be proud of the results QEGS consistently achieves, and we need to ensure we have the resources in place to continue investing in such excellence in the long term. I am keen to work alongside QEGS, and other local schools, to setup a meeting with senior Department of Education officials, to highlight to Government where local Cumbrian schools are struggling, and to ensure we address any local funding concerns.”

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