Dear Prime Minister
It has been a great honour to serve as Minister of State for School Standards in your Government over the last ten months.
Supporting our schools to fully reopen and get children back in after the pandemic, delivering education recovery and levelling up education standards for every part of the country is a vital national mission and one I have been proud to play my part in supporting.
Over the last six years, it has also been an honour to serve in the Department for exiting the European Union, in the Scotland and Northern Ireland Offices.
As you know, I am passionate about the potential of education to unleash opportunity and have campaigned throughout my career in Parliament to deliver fairer funding for our schools, it was therefore a particular priority for me to ensure that delivery of the national funding formula should be at the heart of our Schools Bill and that our Department secured the spending review settlement that would allow for record investment in our schools and teachers and the biggest cash increase in school budgets in its history.
I am proud that alongside this we have been able to deliver a golden thread of reforms to CPD for teachers through ITT market review.
Early Career Framework and National Professional Qualifications, as well as targeted support to the most disadvantaged pupils and a revolution in tutoring, changing it from a tool of the more advantages to one which has supported recovery in millions of those who most need the support.
I was pleased to contribute to a white paper to drive up attainment whilst protecting the broad, rich curriculum from which so many young people can benefit and I am hopeful that my decision to approve a GCSE in Natural History will leave a lasting legacy as part of the Department's wider work on climate change and sustainability.
Unfortunately, recent events have made it clear to me that our great party, for which I have campaigned all of my adult life, has become distracted from its core missions by a relentless focus on questions over leadership.
The loss of Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid this week, two of our brightest talents from the top team, reflects a worrying narrowing of the broad church that I believe any Conservative Government should seek to achieve.
I know you have been an instinctive One Nation Conservative and I have been proud to support you on delivering Brexit with a deal, on supporting our precious union and on the monumental effort to support the lives and livelihoods of so many through the pandemic.
Sadly in recent months those great achievements of your Government have become overshadowed by mistakes and questions about integrity.
I have always believed it is the job of our part to strike the right balance between efficiency and compassion, but the image being projected from the struggles of the last few months is that we risk achieving neither.
You won the confidence of your colleagues just a few weeks ago but the events and revelations since have undermined this.
I have publicly supported you as leader of our party and Prime Minister but I am afraid I feel I can do so no longer and although I cannot think of a better or more rewarding job than the one I have been doing.
I cannot in good conscience continue to serve in your Government.
I shall continue to support the Conservative Party from the back-benches and I wish both Michelle Donelan and Nadhim Zahawi, both of whom have been excellent colleagues in the Department, every success in thier new roles.
It has been a privilege to work with them both, as well as with so many dedicated officials, brilliant teachers and leaders in our schools.
Robin Walker MP.