Colne Valley MP Thelma Walker has been selected to an influential parliamentary committee just one month after being elected.
The MP – who spent more than 30 years in teaching before entering politics – has joined the cross-party education select committee alongside Labour Party colleague Emma Hardy, MP for Kingston upon Hull and Hessle.
Mrs Walker, who worked at three schools in the constituency and was deputy head at Linthwaite Ardron CE School, said she was delighted and proud to accept the role, adding: “I already have plans to work with Colne Valley schools, the local sixth form colleges and our great university. I’m also looking forward to working cross-party.”
Mrs Walker, who won the Colne Valley seat in last month’s General Election, said key issues for her included funding for sixth-form colleges and the number of qualified teacher leaving the profession.
She said: “I have spoken to our local principals and there are major challenges in terms of funding for sixth forms. We have also had two consecutive years where more teachers are leaving the profession than are coming in which is not a good indication of how teachers are feeling. When dedicated teachers are saying they’ve had enough it’s not good. We have to look at the impact on our young people.”
Mrs Walker said she wanted to get young people’ voices heard to give them a say in their education, adding: “I want to see a curriculum that brings the joy back into teaching and learning.”