Lewisham Labour -; Fighting Tory school cuts and giving children the best start in life

Lewisham’s young people are our future and they are hugely talented. Every child in our borough deserves the best possible start in life. That means support in the early years, it means a fantastic education which stretches and inspires, and it means support to maintain good health, mental health and wellbeing.

But the Tory government’s failed austerity programme is hitting our young people hard.

Lewisham’s primary schools are among the best in the country, and our secondary schools are improving. But over the coming years, they are set to face savage cuts in funding from the Tory Government.

Under the Government’s plans, funding for Lewisham’s schools will have been cut by £8.8 million by 2019/20 compared to 2015/16. This represents a cut of £257 per pupil, and it is equivalent to the cost of over 250 teachers. You can find out how much your local school will be cut by here.

So today, we’re launching Lewisham Labour’s campaign to stop the Tory school cuts. You can help by signing our petition, by signing up to leaflet parents at a school near you on Friday morning, and sharing our posts on Twitter and Facebook.

In addition to fighting the Tory school cuts, we are today setting out our pledges for children and young people from our upcoming manifesto. Over the next four years:

  • We will protect our Sure Start Centres, ensuring every child has access to high quality early years education, and supporting every family to access their entitlement to free childcare
  • We will continue to support our primary and secondary schools to improve, ensuring that every school is rated good or outstanding by 2022.
  • We will work with teachers and unions to create a Lewisham Fair Workload Charter so that we can attract and retain the best teachers, and we will recruit more school governors, who better reflect the diversity of our borough, to support the improvement of our schools.
  • We will support the Lewisham family of schools, opposing all forms of selection and we will provide the knowledge and support to parents, teachers and governors who are fighting academisation in their schools.
  • We will support children with special educational needs, by improving the assessment process and increasing provision within Lewisham to meet a wider range of learning difficulties that children experience.
  • We will work with parents and schools to reduce exclusions as they impact disproportionately on black pupils. We will review the strategies in place to narrow the achievement gaps that affect minority communities and poorer pupils.
  • We will promote more high-quality mentoring by working with community and voluntary groups, and businesses to help our young people increase their resilience and open access up to employment opportunities.
  • We will promote the ArtsMark scheme which requires schools to offer music, art, drama and dance, as we believe every child should have access to the arts.

We’ve been developing our manifesto with hundreds of Lewisham Labour members. It will be a radical and socialist manifesto -; a manifesto to transform Lewisham for the many, not the few. We will be launching the manifesto on 8th April. You can sign up here.

Damien Egan

Labour’s Candidate for Mayor of Lewisham

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