19 July 2019 – the overnight press releases

Lib Dems: Funding uncertainty for schools and colleges must stop

Responding to the publication of today’s report by the Education Select Committee, which calls on the Government to commit to a 10-year, multi-billion cash injection for schools and colleges, Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran MP said:

Over the past few years, our schools and colleges have been cut to the bone, as funding levels failed to keep up with spiralling costs and increased pupil numbers.

Teachers have been forced to buy resources out of their own pockets, teaching assistants have been let go, and tens of schools have been shutting their doors early.

Today’s report shows that MPs across all parties are not prepared to see our schools and colleges face years of continued uncertainty. Yet this is exactly what the Conservative Government has created. They have seemingly scrapped an announcement on schools funding planned for this week and have not yet told teachers how much they’ll be paid next year.

Liberal Democrats demand better for our children and teachers. That is why we are campaigning for an emergency cash injection into our schools and colleges, so that they have the resources teachers need to teach and pupils need to learn.

Lib Dems: Invest in school & music clubs to close disadvantage gap

Today, the Social Mobility Commission and the University of Bath have published new research revealing that young people from low-income families participate in fewer after-school activities, particularly music and sport, compared to their wealthier classmates.

Children from the poorest backgrounds are three times more likely not to take part in any extra-curricular activity at all compared to the richest families. The cost and availability of activities, cuts to youth services and a lack of confidence among disadvantaged young people were all cited as contributing factors.

Responding to the report, Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Layla Moran MP said:

The wellbeing of children must be at the core of Government policy-making. Extra-curricular activities provide a huge boost to a child’s academic performance, make them less likely to skip school and help them to develop a wide range of social skills.

Yet Conservative cuts to schools and youth services mean that these opportunities are no longer available to every child. And as the EBacc and SATs encourage schools to narrow the curriculum, sport and the creative arts are squeezed out of some children’s lives altogether.

Every child should have the chance to join a sports team, music class or dance club. Liberal Democrats will be calling on the Government to support local councils to subsidise and widen access to after-school clubs and other activities for children receiving free school meals. No child should lose out because their parents can’t afford to pay.

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