As I write, it has been one week since the return of all pupils to school and I’m pleased to see that has gone well. It was absolutely right that fully opening schools was the first part of the roadmap out of lockdown but we still have a way to go, and the Stay at Home message continues until 29th March while we drive infection rates to minimal levels, at the same time as continuing our world-leading vaccination programme that is likely to hit 25 million first doses this week.
We know it's been difficult for children and students over this last year and the benefits of getting them all back to school cannot be understated. I also welcome that the government has announced new measures to help the education sector build back better from the pandemic.
The next phase of the landmark £110 million Turing scheme has been unveiled and gone live, offering students of all backgrounds across the UK the chance to study and work abroad, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds who were less likely to benefit from the previous EU scheme. There are also new measures aimed at attracting more overseas students that will boost access to global student exchanges.
International opportunities are a key part of our world-renowned education sector and by extending our reach across the world, not just Europe, we are enabling more young people than ever before to benefit and succeed.
In these unprecedented times, having a proactive global education agenda is more important than ever, so we can build back better from the pandemic in all aspects of our lives. Our world-class education is a vital part of our economy and society, and the Conservative government wants to support universities, schools, colleges and all aspects of the education sector to thrive across the globe.
The government are committed to ensuring our students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds of whom we have many in Crawley, can benefit from studying and working abroad. I look forward to seeing the exciting and enriching opportunities that the Turing scheme will bring to our local young people.
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Conservative Group
17th March 2021