AS SOMEONE who is proud to be Swindon born and bred I have always been grateful for the great quality education I received here.

Both of my parents taught in Swindon schools and this is why I always want to talk up our town when it comes to academic achievement.

Readers will be aware that education in Swindon has had a range of news recently and we are determined to do our best for all of our young people. When we have success, I think it’s important to shout about it.

This is why I want to take the opportunity to say a very big thank you and well done to our primary schools who have achieved some great results; particularly the teachers, governors, parents and, of course, the pupils for a lot of hard work.

I would also like to thank everyone on the council for their part in this, especially Fionuala Foley, who is a passionate advocate for children and young people in her role as Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and School Attainment.

Last month our Key Stage 2 results were among some of the most improved in the country. Now our primary schools have again shown great progress at the end of Key Stage 1 in all subjects.

Specifically, the Key Stage 1 phonics results improved by five per cent in line with the national average. What is really good news is that our seven year olds meet or exceed the national averages for reading, writing, maths and science.

The Advertiser described the results as “soaring above” the national average, which is a great way to put it.

It’s important to remember that behind this success there are a lot of people working very hard. Governors, who give of their time freely to provide strategic leadership; the teachers who are so dedicated to helping children learn; the pupils themselves who have the discipline to succeed; parents who take the time actively to support schools and their children at home.

Along with all of them there are many other individuals who work on school place planning, admissions, special educational needs and all the other aspects that have to happen to effectively run a school.

In addition, councillors from all parties work to support schools and we have the Swindon Challenge Board which is dedicated to helping secure improvements in education.

I would also like to take the opportunity to invite everyone reading this to consider what you might do to help support education in Swindon.

It might be serving as a school governor. It might be getting involved in fundraising or other voluntary activities for schools.

If you have a business you could sponsor a school activity. Helping children to achieve their best is a great thing to be involved with.