EDUCATION, as we all know, is absolutely vital to the future of our nation.

It is the building block upon which people of all ages can develop careers, broaden their horizons and shape their futures.

It aids personal development, increases earning potential and strengthens our understanding of the wider world.

And most of all it is the most important factor in the lives of the future of our country – young people.

And this week, with Parliament in recess due to the start of the party conference season, I have spent my week educating myself on the issues which are affecting our local education service.

Firstly I visited King Edward and Queen Mary School to speak to pupils at an assembly.

I talked to the pupils about the diversity of the role of an MP and pointed out that like them, every single week, I learn new things.

Education is, of course, about aspiration too and I advised those young people to try to aim high and maximise their potential.

It also gave me the opportunity to speak to teachers, including the Head of Sixth Form,  about the issues they face on a day to day basis.

A day later I met with five Primary school head teachers to discuss their views on the issues they face and the effect the Government has on their profession.

We talked about a range of issues from the latest Government education reforms to disciplinary issues and financing.

It was productive, thought provoking and absolutely vital to me to know exactly how those people feel.

Finally, on Thursday, I visited Sixth Formers at both Lytham St Annes High School and Carr Hill High School . This was truly a pleasure.

The students were interesting, bright and talkative and certainly gave me a run for my money.

So what did I learn? Well I learned that, despite what you may read from time to time, the children of the Fylde are on the right track.

I learned that their teachers, while they may not agree with the every element of the way education is run, are incredibly determined to succeed and are striving to do everything they can to meet the requirements of both their pupils, parents and those in charge.

I can say with great confidence that while the education service in Fylde does face some challenges I am extremely confident that we have some excellent schools which will serve our young people very well in the future.

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