It has been a busy two weeks back in Westminster, with lots to be discussed and debated. Changes in the line up of Government under the leadership of new Prime Minister Theresa May, have meant new Ministers, as well as new departments for International Trade and for Exiting the European Union. We also have the newly formed Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy where I am pleased to be have been appointed as a Parliamentary Private Secretary.
Last week we heard the important announcement on education that included proposals to lift the ban on new Grammar Schools that was introduced back in 1998. There has already been much debate, and I am sure there will be more to come. However, let us be quite clear this not about a return to secondary moderns, it is about supporting the expansion of existing grammars, supporting a more diverse school system and helping to attract pupils from different backgrounds.
The Government has a strong record of school reform with 1.4million more children in good or outstanding schools since 2010 and indeed we are very fortunate in this constituency that all our excellent secondary schools have been awarded either Good or Outstanding ratings from Ofsted. But, we must do more, and that is what these proposals are about, so that every child can have a good school place, and so that more families and children have the benefit of greater choice and opportunity. Whether we are looking at maintained schools, free schools, grammar, or academies it is right to keep our focus on raising standards and opportunities for everyone.
I am pleased to learn that the Pupil Premium will remain for the poorest children and this makes a real difference in many of our schools. It is important to recognize and remember that there are many children from ordinary working class families who are being let down by the current lack of available good places and these proposals go the heart of dealing with this matter.
On other fronts last week we heard the initial findings from the Boundary commission, which will bring changes in the West Midlands. Under these proposals my current Aldridge-Brownhills constituency will remain as it is with the addition of two extra wards. . This was looked at during the last Parliament and it is a matter which needs to be resolved to address the current inequality of constituencies and to balance the democratic deficit that exists at Westminster.
Rounding off the week it was a pleasure to be able return from Parliament and attend the Presentation of Awards at Aldridge School, recognising the achievement and hardwork of students. The enthusiasm and dedication of all those involved locally in The Heart of England in Bloom Awards was also rewarded this week with the wonderful news that Aldridge and Brownhills were amongst those to receive Gold Awards. Our congratulations should go to them too for such a wonderful display of colour this summer. Well done.