The son of a small businessman and a hairdresser, I was the first in my family to go to university. I firmly believe that everyone should have the opportunity to achieve their potential, regardless of their start in life.
Like all Conservatives I share a deep conviction in the transformational role a high quality education can play in changing an individual’s life chances. My parents both left school at 16: my mother to take an apprenticeship in hairdressing, my father to take a vocational qualification in horticulture on day release in order to become a nurseryman.
But on the back of the Thatcher reforms of the 1980s, they developed a micro-business, and their first objective was to enable their children to receive a good education which allowed us to be the first in our family to go to university.
Lots of government policy can affect us on one or two major occasions in our lives, but a good education can lay the foundations for personal economic security and freedom from reliance on the state for a lifetime.
Salisbury is fortunate to benefit from a wide array of educational opportunities. I am an Associate Governor of Wyvern College, and maintain a strong dialogue with all the schools in the constituency. I believe that the best way to allow children to fulfil their potential is to provide them with choice. An individual pathway that recognises abilities and nurtures them - regardless of what form they come in - is key to allowing everyone to achieve their aspirations.
My priority in the constituency this Parliament will be ensuring we maintain a wide variety of options, and supporting our schools to choose the right leadership models for their circumstances. I will also be working to see the implementation of a National Funding Formula, which will finally address the historical anomaly where Wiltshire pupils have been significantly underfunded compared to our neighbours.