Next week schools across south London return after a well-earned break for pupils, teachers and school staff who have all worked so hard in very difficult circumstances over the last eighteen months during the COVID-19 pandemic, writes Helen Hayes….
My congratulations to pupils and the parents, teachers and support staff who have supported them on the fantastic GCSE, BTEC and A-level results achieved by so many in Southwark and Lambeth.
Unlike other countries such as Germany and the USA, the UK’s Conservative government has failed disastrously to provide the level of funding needed to help pupils whose education was hit particularly badly by the pandemic to catch up. Labour has published a comprehensive catch-up plan for pupils. Along with my Labour colleagues, I’ll continue to hold the government to account for the inadequate support it is providing to our young people.
This week I’ve been visiting summer projects across my constituency that are working with children and young people to provide fun activities and the opportunity to learn new skills during the holidays. In many cases nutritious meals are also being provided, particularly for families on lower incomes. I’m glad that both Southwark and Lambeth councils have again stepped up to the plate to support so many brilliant projects this summer.
Later this week I will be out helping with deliveries from one of our local food banks. The needs being met by our food banks continue to grow and will increase even further if the government pushes ahead with devastating plans to cut Universal Credit by £20 a week in the autumn.
While I am enormously proud of how many people in our local communities are determined to ensure that no-one should be left hungry, it is deeply shameful that this government’s policies continue to leave so many unable to put food on the table and in need of emergency supplies. I’ll be voting against the cut, and will continue to fight for a future in which no-one in our communities has to struggle to feed their family.