I enjoyed taking part in the NUT hustings in Elsecar yesterday evening as a former teacher and NUT member.
We were fortunate enough to be joined by a number of teachers and education workers, and discussed a range of issues including grammar schools, falling teacher numbers, educational maintenance allowance, and free schools meals amongst other things.
I put forward Labour's case for our education system: to reverse damaging cuts and prevent the £3bn more expected under the Tories, to listen to schools and provide them with the funds they so desperately need, reduce rising class sizes, and increase teacher retention by tackling workloads and giving them the pay and support they deserve.
This was in stark contrast to UKIP's pledge to join the Tories and establish grammar schools across the country; an expensive and selective vanity project that would leave far too many of Barnsley East's children behind.
I was pleased to be able to discuss these issues with local teachers. If elected I will fight hard to ensure that every child in Barnsley East is given the best chance to succeed at school.