After a week in Westminster, I always look forward to visiting schools in my constituency of Fareham.
There is a sense of vitality and energy in schools that can sometimes be missing from some of the rather dry debates we have in the House of Commons.
Meeting staff and pupils can put a spring in my step after a tough few days in Parliament.
When I visit schools I get a real sense of change and progress.
In part this is about changes to the organisation of schools.
In Fareham, we have two academies, Cams Hill and St Anthony’s.
They have both been fasttracked because they have really good Ofsted reports.
I know from meetings held at other schools that the freedoms that academy status offers are attractive and could lead to other high-performing schools in the area going down the same route.
But in every school, you can see the focus and commitment to meet the aspirations of pupils and parents.
There is a sense of impatience in the drive to raise standards in schools because we know that children only have one chance to get a good education.
When schools succeed in this, it is good for them to be recognised.
Recognition comes in many forms: an improved Ofsted report, increased pupil numbers and, in the case of Neville Lovett, recognition by the Department for Education as one of the 100 top-performing schools in the country.
Often though, the community doesn’t recognise that progress.
Whilst improved performance most directly benefits the pupils, I believe there is also a huge indirect benefit to our society and our economy from our young people leaving school having fulfilled their potential, in both an academic and a social sense.
We should be grateful to the staff in our schools for the work that they do to help our young people achieve their full potential.