I believe school should be energising and positive for children, broadening horizons and giving tools to learn new skills and take advantage of a whole range of opportunities throughout life. We owe it to our kids not to consign them to the status quo, and always to push for higher standards and better opportunities.
There are great schools and teachers in our area, and I am sure when the time comes for my daughter to go off to school my wife and I will have a good choice of local schools to look at, but I'd like it to be even better.
I'm pleased we've implemented the Conservative manifesto policy of Pupil Premium for schools in respect of disadvantaged children so as to try to ensure opportunity for all, and I'm grateful for the Coalition support on that. Our Coalition partners have also voted with us to implement other important education policy changes, such as free schools and the expansion of the academy system which Labour created, freeing up the qualifications system so that talented people can get involved more easily, improving the national curriculum but allowing schools to opt out of it, and tackling unwarranted exam grade inflation.
I'm also very pleased we've allocated substantial money to teach primary school children to create the apps and computer programmes of the future.
Giving schools more control of their destiny has been a particularly encouraging part of the Government's reforms, so they can respond to the wishes of local communities.
Increasing parent choice and opportunity for children is at the heart of the rationale for creation of new academies and free schools, which can expand successful schools or provide new schools where old ones have been unsuccessful locally, and easily hire people with valuable skills to impart from various walks of life.
Parents need to take a great interest and I would like them to be given the ability to "vote with their feet". There may be even more innovative ways of getting parents involved in allocating funding to consider.
For the future I would like to see politicians give parents and teachers room to focus on true educational outcomes.
There is an awful lot of paperwork for teachers, and harnessing technology to put in place a system of periodic digital assessment of core competence in different learning concepts might be a better system than the current clunky and bureaucratic one of constant grading and assessment.
We must do more to retain good teachers and give them the support they need - making their workload reasonable has to be part of that.
Large class sizes can be a problem, even when teaching assistants are available. Teachers have to prepare different levels of work for several different types of child within the same class and then grade all the children and be ready for inspection of any of that at any time. In our area a lot of development has recently been allowed to occur without providing properly for infrastructure, including new class school places, and class size has drifted up, making more work and stress for our teachers. I want to change that.
In summary, we've made good progress in trying to get the best for our children's future, but in education we need to keep moving forward and providing the support to get the best out of teachers and our other resources, and we need to remain open to change.
Marcus Fysh Conservative Prospective MP for Yeovil.
Contact Marcus: www.marcusfysh.org.uk