The last few years have been extremely challenging for young people in education. The pandemic, and the measures taken to safeguard the most vulnerable in our society from Covid-19, have caused a great deal of disruption to teaching and examinations.

 As we seek to recover from the pandemic, and navigate the economic challenges posed by a changed world, with a major war in Europe, it is even more the important to provide a high quality education to children and young people. After all, helping pupils thrive is not just the right thing to do; it is essential to underpin Britain’s economic future and long-term prosperity. Everybody benefits from an educated public, and for this reason the Government’s ten-year National School Rebuilding Programme is essential.

 This flagship scheme seeks to rebuild 500 schools in England, ensuring that they are also supportive of jobs and skills in local communities. I was very pleased when the Secretary of State for Education informed me that — of the 400 projects which have been confirmed — one is to be Tavistock College.

 This is a great opportunity for the college, and a big boost for our local community. It is my sincere hope the students will soon will benefit from the new buildings, and I will be monitoring the project’s progress with that in mind. When I visited the college again last year, it was clear to me that the current situation, with the acute need for a new science block and other classrooms, could not continue and I sought the urgent intervention of the Secretary of State.  

 I have also been reassured that the work will be of great benefit to Devon construction firms, and that all new buildings will incorporate modern designs and technologies. This means that they will be environmentally friendly, producing net-zero carbon in operation, and thereby contribute to our sustainability commitments.

 I am delighted the Department for Education has recognised the compelling case for a complete renovation and reconstruction of Tavistock College. I look forward to working with my ministerial colleagues, local councillors, and the college’s management team to make the project an early reality.