Parliament has now closed for the summer and I am back in North Cornwall where I will be able to spend time concentrating fully on constituency matters. It has been a very difficult few months for everyone and I am very proud of you all for sticking to the lockdown so that we could flatten the curve, and more recently, for reopening our economy in a responsible way. A lot was asked of North Cornwall, and although we have come through hard times before, this was an endurance test rather than a sprint. We have not crossed the finish line, but with the positive news about the vaccine trials last week, the end may be in sight.
We must, of course, be vigilant, as there is the possibility that the coronavirus may come back strongly in the autumn. Over the summer the government will be preparing for this and I know contingency plans have been formulated. The Prime Minister has not discounted the potential for another full lockdown, but this will only be brought in if the situation requires it. Likewise, we are also prepared for local lockdowns, and Cornwall is no exception. If there is a spike of coronavirus cases in the area then the government, local authority and NHS will respond. I used my final question in the House of Commons before the recess to ask the Minister what a local lockdown would look like, and you can watch it by visiting my Facebook page.
As part of our pledge to level up school funding across England, I was very pleased to The Prime Minister has confirmed that state schools in England will receive a £2.2 billion funding increase for next year, as part of our £14 billion settlement for schools, delivering on our manifesto commitment. Every child deserves a superb education – regardless of which school they attend or where they happened to grow up. That is why we are providing additional funding now and for the future for every school, with those historically underfunded receiving the greatest increase. And with our transformative national funding formula, we are making sure the money is distributed fairly across the country so all schools can drive up standards. I have lobbied hard to ensure that North Cornwall gets its fair share, and I look forward to seeing this become a reality after successive governments have failed to address the disparity. We know that this has been a difficult year for schools, teachers and students due to coronavirus, and with this extra investment, we can ensure pupils can catch up and get the best possible start in life.
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