Mayoral candidate Jeremy Middleton speaking at Excelsior Academy.

North East mayoral candidate, Jeremy Middleton, used a speech to a group of young people to call for an end to low aspirations in the region’s schools, and highlighted a local academy as an example to follow.

Speaking in a room packed with young supporters, at Excelsior Academy in Newcastle’s West End, Mr Middleton lauded the work of Head Teacher Philomena Marshall, crediting her with turning around the school. He noted that before Mrs Marshall took over the school, then called West Gate Community College, almost 60% of young people left it with no qualifications, compared to its 98% A-Level pass rate today.

Jeremy, who is also a governor of Studio West School in West Denton, called for an intensive programme of work experience and careers advice in all North East schools. He pledged that if elected as mayor he would aim to guarantee a job, an apprenticeship or a place in higher education for every school leaver in the region.

Mr Middleton said: “When it comes to education we should not settle for what we’re given, or accept the low aspirations that so many people here have been prepared to live with so long, there should be no limit to our ambition for our young people. We need to throw off the old ways of doing things and be ambitious, because when we’re ambitious and when we invest in what works, then nothing is out of our reach.

“When the Devolution Bill is brought into law the North East mayor will be able to unleash real power to change things for young people. They will have new powers to improve our schools and colleges, and a new budget to create jobs, they will be able to create apprenticeships, and unlock the full potential of so many young people who have been let down by the region’s political establishment.

“Some members of the North East establishment are more interested in covering up their failings and defending the status quo than delivering for young people. They spend millions of pounds revamping civic halls, this money would be better spent on schools and skills for the next generation. If elected as your mayor, I will do my best to deliver a job, apprenticeship, or a higher education place for every young person leaving our schools.

ENDS

ISSUED ON BEHALF OF MIDDLETON ENTERPRISES

CONTACT: Chris Rowell on 01325 363436

Notes to Editors:

Jeremy Middleton

Mr Middleton is a self-made businessman and philanthropist based in the North East. He has been a Board Member of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) since 2011 and is Chairman of the North East LEP Investment Fund, which makes recommendations to the LEP Board for the £25m Growing Places Fund and the £30m Infrastructure Fund.

Mr Middleton has carried out a range of sponsored fundraising for a variety of charities which to date include the North Pole, Mount Kilimanjaro, Mont Blanc, The Haute Route, Mount McKinley, Mount Elbrus and a cycle ride from London to Paris.

In 2012 Jeremy was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for Services to Politics and Charities.

Jeremy’s Kids Promise

More Investment in Schools & Skills: “With 3 kids of my own, nothing matters more to me than ensuring our kids here in the North East get the very best start in life. As Mayor, I am committed to a revolution in how we connect young people to the world of work, delivering a new intensive programme of work and careers advice in our schools. I am determined to deliver the best possible start for all our young people. My ‘Kids Promise’ will make sure every young person has the chance of a job, an apprenticeship or further education when they leave school.”

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Mayoral candidate Jeremy Middleton speaking at Excelsior Academy.
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