A growing economy – one that creates jobs and gives everyone the opportunity to build financial security for themselves and their families – has its roots in the education people receive when they are young.
So David Cameron’s long-term plan for the British economy starts in its schools.
In this bit of Lincolnshire, I encouraged all our secondary schools to become academies and this has brought huge benefit to thousands of young people.
Since 2010, Grantham has seen the creation of a superb new school, Priory Ruskin, in an amazing new set of buildings for which the government provided over £13 million.
We have also seen major investment in new facilities at the King’s School and Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School.
These investments, and the leadership and direction provided by these schools’ headteachers, have produced a significant improvement in their results and an expansion in their intakes, meaning that more young people can now benefit from places at these schools.
In Corby Glen, the Charles Read Academy started off on the wrong foot as part of the West Grantham federation. I was very pleased to play a part in stopping the threatened closure of this much-loved rural school and in persuading the government to transfer it to the David Ross Educational Trust, one of the best academy chains in the country.
We can all be proud of the progress that schools in the Grantham area have made since 2010. But there are still too many which are failing to give young people a good start in life.
In particular, there are too many primary schools drifting along without strong leadership or a clear plan to improve.
A Conservative government will hold the leadership of these schools to account for their performance, and will arrange for schools that cannot show how they are going to raise their game to be taken over by successful academy chains like Priory and David Ross.
Grantham already has some great schools and many talented teachers; there is no reason why all schools in the area shouldn’t be good or outstanding.
We should settle for nothing less.