Great news, just in time for Christmas! A new state-of-the-art school will be built to replace flood-prone Tipton St John Primary School.

It's felt like a long time coming. Days after I became an MP in 2019, Tipton St John Primary School's fantastic headteacher Colin Butler got in touch with me. Colin was hoping the government would provide the funding needed for a new school, and wanted some political help. My predecessor, Sir Hugo Swire, had already raised the school’s woes with Education Ministers, so they were aware.

Since then, I’ve raised the school’s situation in Parliament, regularly met with Ministers at the Department for Education, sent countless letters requesting updates, and worked with Richard Power at the Diocese of Exeter, the school, and Devon County Council to secure its long-term future. I have also visited the school several times and it was one of my first visits as your MP.

The existing school site is next to the River Otter. Both the Environment Agency and Department for Education have warned of a risk to life from flooding.

A new site for the school is yet to be decided. I believe every possible option in the village should be explored.

Ultimately, child safety should be the number one priority. Children should be focused on their education while in school, not learning how to hold onto ropes in order to cross a flood road to avoid being swept away. Yet, this is the case in Tipton St John.

The government has recognised the need to invest in education in East Devon by backing our bid to the School Rebuilding Programme. This flagship programme has invested over £13 billion to maintain and improve schools since 2015.

In Parliament, I successfully pushed Ministers to consider flood risk alongside building condition when deciding which schools should get this programme's cash. I’m really pleased they listened!

Children deserve modern classrooms and facilities that match the high-quality education they get from their truly inspiring teachers. Colin Butler retired on the day of the government's announcement – a timely retirement gift!