I was educated at Parmiter's School near Bushey. As I have said many times before, the excellent state education I received gave me the very best start in life and I owe them a debt of gratitude. Protecting and improving funding for our state schools is therefore an important priority for me and I frequently make the case for doing so.
As our community continues to grow, we need to invest in new schools and facilities. I helped secure a replacement block at Dame Alice Owen's in Potters Bar, backing for the re-building of Hertswood Academy in Borehamwood and the creation of a new primary school for Yavneh College.
In the short term, demand for school places in Hertsmere can be met by expanding existing schools. However, in the medium to long-term, a new school will be needed. I know this is a particular issue in Radlett, where due to a shortage of places at nearby schools, primary pupils are forced to go to dozens of different secondary schools.
Tackling this requires the combined efforts of our borough, county and national governments. The county council can provide the evidence that we need new places, the borough will need to identify a site, and I will need to help make the case to the Department for Education.
I have convened meetings with these parties to discuss how we can address the issue, while making clear the need for a new school to serve students in Radlett.
With the borough council currently working to put in place a new Local Plan, this provides an opportunity to address this need. We have agreed to work together in the best interest of the community to ensure that a new school is delivered as part of this process.