Since I was elected in 2015, I have been committed to delivering better life chances for children in North Cornwall. I recognised for far too long that young people were having to move out of the county to get access to the kind of employment opportunities offered to others around the UK. Under this government, we have already brought per-pupil spending up to the same level as other parts of the country and investment in the Callywith campus and the new STEM and post-16 educational facilities in the Bodmin area have allowed our young people huge new opportunities. Cornwall’s new designation as an Educational Investment Area is the next step in ensuring that our reforms help all young people in North Cornwall achieve their full potential and will see even more investment in skills and education locally.
In these new ‘Education Investment Areas’, the Department for Education will offer retention payments to help schools keep the best teachers in the highest priority subjects. These areas will be prioritised as the location for new specialist sixth form free schools where there is limited provision to ensure talented children from disadvantaged backgrounds have access to the highest standard of education this country offers. An extra £200 million is also being invested in the government’s Supporting Families programme in England, helping create strong, stable families where children thrive. This brings total investment to £695 million to improve the lives of up to 300,000 vulnerable families. The programme will help local areas tackle the challenges families face that can hold children back from attending and achieving at school or put them at risk of neglect or harm. Alongside these reforms will be a new skills mission set by the government to help improve people’s lives and boost the economy. This will target 200,000 more people in England to help them complete high-quality training each year by 2030, including 80,000 more completing courses in areas of England with the lowest skills levels.
Skills are a crucial driver of economic disparities between people and places, so the mission will help level up opportunities in left-behind areas. Boosting skills improves human capital which can drive up earnings potential and life chances for people who have already left school.
Two very interesting funds for fishing and farming have now opened for applications. The farming community will be pleased to know that farms can apply for their share of a £25m fund for high-tech equipment. Meanwhile, the Get Fishing Fund, which has been established to support organisations delivering a programme of angling activities throughout 2022, offers grants of up to £2,500 are available to benefit angling-based projects. The funding can be used to help purchase equipment, fishing tackle and resources to run fishing events and activities to give people the opportunity to try fishing. The application process for both funds are open until mid-March. If you would like support with your application or would like more information, then please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.