My greatest political priority is to increase individual opportunity and social mobility through education.

That means everyone having the skills necessary to realise their full potential.

I want to see a society truly based on merit where people can go as far as their talent, ambition and motivation can take them.

Regardless of parental background, every child with the ability and determination should be realistically able to study at Oxford University, start a profitable business or play sport for England.

So I take a particular interest in the schools in Taunton Deane.

There are 13 mainstream educational institutions for children over the age of 11, and I visit them all on a regular basis, as well as keeping in close contact with local primary schools.

I am also committed to seeing the formation of a new North Taunton Academy.

When the Government considered pulling the plug on this project, I personally called the Schools Minister and spent half-an-hour persuading him to change his mind.

The North Taunton Academy will help to transform the educational opportunities for thousands of students.

It will come with significant extra funding and greater freedom for innovative teaching.

And it will send a powerful signal to young people in Taunton that their education matters and they have every opportunity to make their lives a success.