One of the things that I most worry about is education on the Island.

Both raising standards in schools but also getting more higher education on the Island.

The university revolution that has regenerated Portsmouth, Southampton, Brighton and Bournemouth passed us by.

As a result, fewer of our young people go to higher education than the national average. That’s neither fair nor right.

But times are changing.

First, schools; over the past four years, the Island has seen valuable progress.

My first task as MP was to work with others to prevent Sandown Bay Academy from closure. The number of schools rated good, or better, by Ofsted has risen from 57 per cent to 75 per cent. It would be higher but for Covid.

Key Stage Two results are now in line with national median figures and GCSE and A-Level results have also improved. We can be better than average, but it’s an improvement.

We’ve also seen investment in school. The council won £800k to increase the Island’s Special Educational Needs (SEN).

As important are exciting developments at the IW College, set for a game-changing £25 million government investment.

Read more: Isle of Wight College granted special university status

These projects will transform the college’s buildings and facilities and enable new qualifications, such as T-levels, to be introduced.

The college also has permission to adopt the title University Centre Isle of Wight in recognition of its worth.

Through partnering with the University of Portsmouth, the college already offers university-level courses in areas such as business, engineering, early years education and teacher training.

The University Centre title will help it encourage more Islanders to gain new qualifications, including the higher-level technical qualifications that we need more of.

Additionally, the college is jointly bidding to become an Institute of Technology.

If successful, this will help Islanders gain advanced skills here in engineering, marine and composites — crucial for our local economy.

Increasing and improving higher education and vocational training is vital. It’s been one of our biggest failings in recent decades — but it is being put right. It’s part of a package of ideas to encourage more young people to stay on the Island and build lives here.

The work at IW College is being driven by Debbie Lavin and her team. I highlight their work to ministers whenever I can to make sure the IW College gets the funding it needs. I am incredibly grateful for their brilliant efforts.