Education for all, building skills for the future
Under the Tories new national funding formula it is estimated that Caedmon College will lose around £330k by 2020, equivalent to a loss of £478 per pupil. This trend is replicated in schools across the constituency including Gladstone Road Primary, which is set to lose £304k or £374 per pupil. This will inevitably result in job losses, increased class sizes and will jeopardise the already limited resources for special educational needs and disabilities support.
We must preserve and improve the schools and colleges across the region, to create a first class learning environment for all our children and young adults, fostering a thirst for learning and equipping them with the skills needed for a rapidly changing economy and jobs market. The foundations for this can only be laid by a socialist Labour government, with the commitment to invest in a National Education Service providing lifelong learning for all.
Locally I would push hard to ensure that as promised in our manifesto, we introduce free school meals for all primary school children, reinstate the educational maintenance allowance and put an end to punitive University fees, ensuring education is available to all regardless of one's financial situation.
I fully subscribe to the notion of accessible lifelong learning, in an education system where every child and every adult matters. The current pace of technological change can be dizzying at times and the impacts this will have on the economy and society in the future cannot be underestimated. It is accepted that we will be living and working longer with potentially several careers across our lifetime. As the world changes, we must change with it. It is therefore essential that we have a flexible education service that encourages the creative and bold thinking that we will need to re-balance our economy and tackle the major global challenges of the 21st century, such as inequality, food security, antibiotic resistance and climate change.