As the birthplace of the industrial revolution, Dudley is proud of its heritage, but we need economic stability to deliver a prosperous future. Will the Prime Minister come to launch the new enterprise zone in Brierley Hill and look at how we can attract more investment, create new jobs and develop the highly skilled workforce that our community needs?
David Cameron (The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party)
Mike Wood: Does my hon. Friend agree that extending the system of finance so that more part-time and postgraduate students can receive funding is helping social mobility and providing greater opportunities for people who would otherwise not be able to have access to higher or postgraduate education?
Mike Wood: What assessment have the Government made of the need for greater capacity post-16 for special educational needs such as at the excellent new Pen’s Meadow post-16 facility in Pensnett, which I had the honour of opening on Friday?
Nicholas Boles The Minister for Universities and Science, Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (Jointly with the Department for Education)
Mike Wood: Does the Minister share my concern that schools that wish to convert to academy status, such as Bromley Pensnett school in my constituency, are finding a series of obstacles being put in their way by the local authority? Will he ensure that the Bill stops local authorities blocking the improvements that are urgently needed to turn around the schools that need the most support?
Mike Wood: Given the shadow Secretary of State’s welcome commitment to improving schools as quickly as possible, can he tell us whether his recent agreement would bring about those improvements more quickly or more slowly?
Tristram Hunt Shadow Secretary of State for Education