A HEADTEACHER in Chipping Sodbury has thanked a government minister and MP after she was invited to Westminster to discuss the problems facing schools.

Katherine Turner, who has been permanent headteacher of Chipping Sodbury School since November 2018, went to Parliament to meet Schools Minister Nick Gibb on Wednesday, February 5.

She said that she appreciated the opportunity to discuss what the problems are for schools in South Gloucestershire after being invited by Luke Hall.

Any questions that were going to be asked at the meeting were submitted beforehand, to allow the minster to prepare a response.

“It was a really fantastic opportunity,” she said. “I was able to speak with Mr Gibb about a number of things that I think school’s are struggling with in the area.

“I felt it was important that the school was represented and we were able to have a really frank discussion.”

The meeting with the minister was only due to last 30 minutes but Ms Turner said that she was really pleased that the talks went on longer.

“We were actually talking for around 45 minutes,” she said. “We discussed problems with funding and also the issues that are facing our SEN (special educational needs) pupils at the school.

“The main thing I would say is that I really felt that our concerns were listened to.

“Mr Gibb seemed to take everything on board and responded in a way that I think was very positive.

“It would be good to see some positive changes come to the area after the meeting.”

Cllr Toby Savage, Leader of South Gloucestershire, said: “There are a range of challenges we face in South Gloucestershire when it comes to our schools and this meeting was a great opportunity for our local heads to raise those issues at the heart of Government.

“Improving school standards continues to be our number one priority as an administration and it was great to be able to demonstrate to the minister about our ongoing work in partnership with our schools, including re-raising our record £78million capital investment into our schools.

“We have continued to work hard in campaigning for fairer funding, both as part of the F40 group of lowest funded local authorities and alongside our local MPs. I am very thankful to Luke for being able to arrange this meeting with the Minister and am pleased our heads took full advantage of the opportunity.”

Thornbury and Yate MP Luke Hall said: “Improving our schools is a key part of our Positive Plan for South Gloucestershire, which also includes building two new primary schools in Yate, upgrading our schools and improving special educational needs and disabilities provision. I am so pleased that our local headteachers were able to discuss the range of issues facing South Glos schools, directly with the Schools Minister.”