Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has met Suffolk head teachers at Stradbroke High School to discuss funding of rural schools, SEND provision and proposals to level-up teaching.

Mr Zahawi was joined at the meeting by Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter and Stradbroke High headteacher Karen Millar.

During the meeting, the heads had the opportunity to put their own questions directly to the Education Secretary.

Mr Zahawi thanked teachers, school leaders and support staff for their hard work throughout the pandemic and praised the outstanding support they continue to provide day in and day out for pupils.

He set out that under latest announcements every child in England will be eligible for free personal tuition under new plans to ensure that no child is left behind as we look to recover from the Covid pandemic.

A national tutoring programme has being introduced to help children catch up on lost learning and it will remain a permanent feature.

Schools will be able to recruit outside staff or use their own teachers to support children when they need it, forming part of a “parent pledge” introduced as part of the Government’s Schools White Paper.

Funding for the tutoring scheme will come from the pupil premium, a payment that helps schools to better support lower income families.

Mr Zahawi added that under new funding, Suffolk schools are set to receive a 12% uplift per pupil, as a result of the Fairer Funding for Schools campaign, which is helping to ensure that Suffolk is directly benefitting from increases in school funding.

Dr Poulter said “I have long called for more money for our local schools, and I am pleased that the Government has listened. More money for our schools means more teachers and more money to spend on books and equipment.

"As we start to recover from the worst of the pandemic, this cash will make a real difference in helping local pupils to catch up on learning time that was lost during the lockdowns and help give our children and grandchildren the very best start in life.

“I was delighted to welcome the Education Secretary to Suffolk and I know that he found his meeting with head teachers to be invaluable. It’s important for Government Ministers to hear directly from those on the front line and feedback from the teachers has also been very positive indeed. I look forward to welcoming the Secretary of State back on a future occasion.”